NFL Week 7 Power Rankings
28 October 2020
Through seven weeks of the NFL season, the playoff picture in each conference is starting to take shape. With the haves and have nots separating themselves further and further, the top teams in our NFL power rankings will become more and more likely to make the playoffs. This week, several of the top teams in the league made statements that they are here to stay as contenders.
32. New York Jets (Last Week: 32)
The sad story of the New York Jets continued in Week 7 with an 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Jets allowed only six field goals in the game, but could not muster any offense to protect what was a 10-0 lead at one point in the contest. Just 190 yards of total offense were mustered by Adam Gase’s squad in this game, which is virtually impossible in today’s NFL. The Jets are nearly 20-point underdogs against the Chiefs in the NFL betting markets in Week 8.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 31)
Jacksonville kept things pretty close with the Los Angeles Chargers for the bulk of their game in Week 7. But it was once again the defense of the Jaguars that let them down in this contest. The Jags gave up 347 passing yards to rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, as the Chargers put up 39 points on the hapless Jaguars defense. Jacksonville led 29-22 with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter and ended the third quarter down by a touchdown, somehow.
30. New York Giants (Last Week: 30)
If there was one play to sum up the 2020 New York Giants, it was Daniel Jones falling down in the open field after an 80-yard run. The Giants could not close out the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football, falling by a score of 22-21. Several missed opportunities by the Eagles kept the game close throughout, but the Giants dropped to 1-6 to remain at the bottom of the abysmal NFC East.
29. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 27)
By all accounts, the Atlanta Falcons should have won their game against the Detroit Lions. In the lead late in the game, the Falcons’ Todd Gurley was given the ball up the middle. After breaking a tackle, he tried to fall down short of the goal line to run out the clock before a short field goal attempt. Instead, he fell forward into the end zone, the Falcons scored a touchdown, and immediately gave up a touchdown in response to lose the game. Just a typical day at the office for the Detroit Lions.
28. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 25)
It wasn’t clear just how big a dropoff there would be from Dak Prescott to Andy Dalton in the Cowboys offense. But those questions have been answered, and the answers are not pretty. Dallas was trucked by the Washington Football Team in Week 7, losing 25-3. Dalton was completely ineffective against the Football Team’s pass rush, and was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Things are going from bad to worse for Jerry Jones’ squad.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 26)
The Cincinnati Bengals played in arguably the most entertaining game of the week in Week 7. Their 37-34 loss to the Cleveland Browns was anything but a defensive masterclass, but it was certainly fun to watch. On the bright side for the Bengals, Joe Burrow lit it up in the game. He threw for 406 yards and kept the Bengals in a game where they just could not get a stop in the second half.
26. Detroit Lions (Last Week: 28)
Detroit was the latest beneficiary of the Atlanta Falcons’ inability to close out a football game in Week 7. But the Lions deserve some credit for getting the win as well. Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense had to travel the length of the field in time to set up a game winning touchdown pass to TJ Hockenson as time expired. In doing so, the Lions have moved back to .500 for the season despite all of their flaws.
25. Washington Football Team (Last Week: 29)
The Washington Football Team was able to pin its ears back against a depleted Cowboys team in Week 7. Their blowout win over the Cowboys put them just a half game behind the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East. Offensively, Kyle Allen isn’t good enough to take the Football Team to the playoffs. But this defense is certainly a respectable one, thanks in large part to a fearsome pass rush.
24. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 24)
Minnesota had a bye week in Week 7. This week is a huge test for the Vikings, as they play the Green Bay Packers for the second time this season. A win would keep the Vikings within three games of the division race with a lot of season left to be played. A loss would drop them to 1-6 and make the calls for Mike Zimmer’s job a whole lot louder than they already are in the Twin Cities.
23. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 22)
The Denver defense and some snow were not enough to combine to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. But more concerning than the inability to stop Mahomes was the Broncos’ inability to stop making mistakes. Denver gave up a defensive and special teams touchdown in their loss to Kansas City, and a developing team like this one can’t afford to make that many mistakes regardless of who they are playing.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 22)
The Eagles did not make it easy for themselves on Thursday night against the Giants. But they did manage to get a win to stay at the top of the NFC East for now. Carson Wentz and company won’t be able to afford the same comedy of errors in the red zone against better competition. But at 2-4-1 for the season, the Eagles could win their division and host a playoff game despite their less than stellar record so far.
21. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 20)
Carolina lost this past week in the Superdome against the New Orleans Saints. But they hung tough against the Saints in what ended up being just a field goal game between these NFC South rivals. Despite a 3-4 record this season, the Panthers have a point differential of just -6. That speaks to how competitive they have been in virtually every game despite adjusting to a completely new coaching staff and quarterback.
20. Houston Texans (Last Week: 18)
Houston had been playing better football in the post-Bill O’Brien era, beating the Jaguars and taking the Titans to overtime. But the Texans were blown out in Week 7 by the Green Bay Packers. They allowed four touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers and nearly 200 yards to Davante Adams. Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense, surprisingly, could not keep up against a lackluster Green Bay defense.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 19)
Las Vegas had the unenviable task of playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past week. Tampa is one of the hottest teams in football right now, and they lit the Raiders up in a 45-20 contest. The Raiders have been good against subpar teams and bad against the top teams in the NFL this season, with the exception of their upset win over the Chiefs. In Week 8, they face a tough road test against the Browns.
18. Chicago Bears (Last Week: 15)
Chicago played some decent defense against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7. The problem is that they could not get anything going offensively. The Bears lost 24-10 against the Rams, with Nick Foles continuing to fail to separate himself from the quarterback he replaced in Mitchell Trubisky. It is hard to win in the NFL with 10 points against any opponent, let alone a playoff contender like the Rams.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 21)
Justin Herbert continues to exceed expectations for the LA Chargers. The rookie of the year frontrunner put up 39 points on a bad Jaguars defense this past week. The Chargers are just 2-4 so far this season, but they already have generated excitement for their future. With several games against the Broncos and Raiders still to come, this season is far from over for a Chargers team that could sneak into a playoff spot if they continue to get this kind of production at quarterback.
Best Sportsbooks For This Pick
16. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 16)
Miami had a bye this past week, which made headlines for their decision to start Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Tua will get his first chance to lead the Dolphins in Week 8, when they host the Los Angeles Rams. The rookie signal caller will have to watch out for the incredible Aaron Donald in that game, as the Rams will look to send pressure at Tua early and often to keep him out of rhythm.
15. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 17)
Things got dicey at the end of the game for the New Orleans Saints, but they did manage to hold on to beat the Carolina Panthers last week. Winning division games ugly is nothing to be ashamed of, and the Saints had just enough firepower on the offensive end to get it done. We will see if the Saints also have the firepower to get past the Chicago Bears, who they face on the road in Week 8.
14. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 14)
Indianapolis was one of the big winners in Week 7 by virtue of having their bye week. With the Tennessee Titans losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Colts moved closer in the division race just by sitting at home. The Colts have a chance to build on that result as they face the Detroit Lions on the road in Week 8.
13. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 13)
It wasn’t easy, but the Cleveland Browns managed to outlast the Cincinnati Bengals in a shootout in Week 7. Baker Mayfield struggled early in the game, but managed to get back on track for an explosive second half. The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. is going to hurt the Browns in the long run. But a Week 8 game against the Las Vegas Raiders should help their offense keep moving in the right direction.
12. New England Patriots (Last Week: 6)
The biggest fall from last week belongs to the New England Patriots. The Pats were blown out in Week 7 at home by the San Francisco 49ers. They gained under 250 total yards for the game, and Cam Newton was benched by the end of the contest. With a full week to prepare for the Niners, one would have expected the Patriots to perform better in this game. But this might be who the Patriots are now.
11. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 12)
The Rams impressed on Monday Night Football with a win over the Chicago Bears. Their 24-10 victory saw the Rams’ pass rush generate consistent pressure against Nick Foles. And while the Rams’ offense wasn’t on top of its game against a great Bears defense, the Rams still managed to score their first win of the season against a team outside of the NFC East.
10. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 10)
Buffalo won ugly in Week 7, kicking six field goals en route to an 18-10 win over the New York Jets. The fact that the Bills couldn’t get into the end zone against the worst team in the NFL is a huge concern. But the Bills held the Jets under 15 yards of total offense for the second half, which was a nice step in the right direction for a defense that has been struggling over the last few weeks.
9. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 11)
San Francisco may have had the most impressive win in the NFL in Week 7. Their destruction of the Patriots on the road was a clinic from start to finish against the best coach in the history of the sport. Now that their injury concerns have largely died down, the Niners are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with despite falling short in last year’s Super Bowl.
8. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 9)
The Packers enjoyed a beautiful bounce back win over the Houston Texans in Week 7. Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and Davante Adams has 13 catches for nearly 200 yards. After a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay, this was the perfect response from a team that has legitimate title aspirations in 2020.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 8)
The Buccaneers did not suffer a letdown after beating Green Bay two games ago. Instead they put up 45 points on the Las Vegas Raiders in a tricky road game. With a rock solid defense and a passing game that is heating up with Tom Brady at the helm, it is becoming clear that the Bucs are a force to be reckoned with. The question is whether or not they can survive the addition of Antonio Brown.
6. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 7)
A resilient performance by the Arizona Cardinals elevated them to 5-2 after seven games. The Cards outscored the Seattle Seahawks 20-7 in the second half and overtime to pull out a 37-34 win at home. Arizona is now just a half game back of first place in what is far and away the toughest division in the NFL this season.
5. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 4)
The Tennessee Titans suffered their first loss of the 2020 season to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Mike Vrabel’s team deserves a lot of credit for the way they fought back from a double-digit deficit to make the game competitive after a slow start. Had Stephen Gostkowski made his field goal attempt with seconds left, the Titans could have very well won in overtime.
4. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 3)
Despite another spectacular outing by the Seahawks offense, Seattle suffered its first loss of the year to the Arizona Cardinals. Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, looking human for the first time all season in the process. At 5-1, Seattle is still in good shape in the NFC. But that defense does need some work if this team is going to win a title.
3. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 2)
The Ravens had their bye week in Week 7, and the timing could not be more perfect. Baltimore has a tough test against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. And with the Steelers being undefeated so far this season, the Ravens need a win in that game to stay on track to win the AFC North.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 5)
Pittsburgh earned the highest quality win of Week 7 with their victory over the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers’ offense was electric in the first half, and showed signs of being championship caliber against a previously unbeaten Titans squad. But their second half collapse was concerning, and Pittsburgh won’t be able to afford a similar lapse against the Ravens in their next game.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 1)
The Chiefs remain in the top spot in our NFL power rankings. They did an incredible job of overcoming bad weather for a second straight week in their blowout win over the Denver Broncos. Given the unpredictable weather in Kansas City in the winter, the Chiefs winning in rainy Buffalo and snowy Denver bodes very well for the defending champions.
NFL Betting FAQ
The Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl. This doesn’t necessarily make them the best team in the league or the best choice when making NFL betting picks. But their status as defending champions and their early season performances have not shaken the confidence in the Chiefs so far.
The Arizona Cardinals or San Francisco 49ers might be worth a look at longer odds to win the Super Bowl. Both teams are playing excellent football in an extremely competitive division. They will have to run a gauntlet in the NFC playoffs, but both squads have already shown they shouldn’t be ruled out.
The New York Jets are the favorites to draft number one overall in the 2021 Draft. They are by far the worst team in the league right now. The Jets’ offense is the worst in the NFL, and their eight point loss to the Bills in Week 7 was a moral victory. They are likely to pick first in 2021.