Six weeks have come and gone and the 2013 NFL power rankings for Week 7 are rather interesting.
First off, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos didn’t slam Jacksonville as expected. But a win is a win is a win. Obviously the Jaguars had extra incentive to play better than ever, especially as four touchdown underdogs. That said, Denver remains unbeaten, but also has weaknesses.
Keeping up with Denver are the Kansas City Chiefs. K.C. certainly looks like the more complete team as well. Fielding a much better defense and rushing attack, the Chiefs have the perfect personnel for knocking off the Broncos. The major advantage for Denver is Manning.
Those are your top two, the remainder of pro football, though, feels much more wide open.
1. Denver Broncos 6-0, (last week: 1)
Denver wasn’t going to beat Jacksonville by four touchdowns. This is the NFL and the Jaguars had plenty of motive to fend off the cynics. We’ll find out this week how much of an impact Von Miller will have in his return.
2. Kansas City Chiefs 6-0, (last week: 4)
This is not a fluke. Kansas City is beyond real. The Chiefs have an incredible defense, don’t turn the rock over and coach Andy Reid is using his ground game. If there’s a team that will upend the Broncos it’s Kansas City.
3. Seattle Seahawks 5-1, (last week: 5)
Solid bounce back victory for Seattle over Tennessee. As a result, the Seahawks remain the NFC West front-runners.
4. San Francisco 49ers 4-2, (last week: 6)
San Francisco has put up 30-plus points in three straight games. Provided that offense keeps it going, the 49ers will be even stronger NFC contenders as their defense remains a solid backbone.
5. New England Patriots 5-1, (last week: 7)
Tom Brady’s game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds was straight vintage against the Saints. Brady has clearly built some chemistry with his young receiving corps and New England becomes more dangerous with every passing week.
6. New Orleans Saints 5-1, (last week: 2)
Tough break for the Saints against New England. But Drew Brees and co. won’t sweat it. New Orleans sits in the NFC South driver’s seat and is a solid contender for the NFC title.
7. Indianapolis Colts 4-2, (last week: 3)
Despite wins over San Francisco and Seattle, the Colts can’t even beat the Chargers and barely squeezed by the Oakland Raiders earlier this season. Hosting the Broncos in Week 7 will be telling of this team’s true identity.
8. Cincinnati Bengals 4-2, (last week: 9)
Cincinnati found a way to win again in Week 6. Having already notched wins over Green Bay and New England, the Bengals certainly have proven their upside for 2013.
9. Green Bay Packers 3-2, (last week: 11)
Impressive win for Aaron Rodgers and co. on the road over Baltimore. And how about Green Bay’s defense? It has only allowed 26 points over the past two weeks.
10. Baltimore Ravens 3-3, (last week: 8)
The Ravens have to figure out a way to fight their inconsistency. Despite wins over Houston and Miami, losses to Green Bay and Buffalo aren’t helping their postseason cause.
11. Miami Dolphins 3-2, (last week: 10)
Coming off a bye week Miami squares off against Buffalo at home. It’s an important turning point for the Dolphins, because not only are the Bills a division game, but Miami then gets New England in Week 8.
12. Detroit Lions 4-2, (last week: 16)
Are the Lions legit playoff contenders? Right now, yes. However, the two losses against Green Bay and Arizona have exploited Detroit’s offense and inability to maintain consistent explosiveness.
13. Chicago Bears 4-2, (last week: 12)
Three of Chicago’s four wins are over teams with losing records. And the NFC is only going to get more intense as 2013 progresses. Will the Bears hold on? The odds aren’t entirely in their favor since Chicago has yet to play Green Bay. They will also face Dallas, St. Louis and Detroit again.
14. Dallas Cowboys 3-3, (last week: 19)
Although the Cowboys are 3-3, all of their losses came against the AFC West. Therefore, in terms of the NFC playoff race Dallas has a favorable advantage. The next challenge is to simply fend off divisional opponents.
15. Tennessee Titans, 3-3, (last week: 14)
Losing on the road in Seattle was tough. Nevertheless, Tennessee isn’t a slouch and will continue to battle the Colts for the AFC South title.
16. St. Louis Rams 3-3, (last week: 23)
What a dominant win for the Rams in Week 6. This defense knows how to make plays and the offense has displayed impressive explosiveness. All that remains is to just keep the momentum rolling.
17. Cleveland Browns 3-3, (last week: 17)
Tough break for the Browns as they lost to the Lions after leading 17-7 at the half. As for the rest of 2013, a lot more rides on this defense if the offense fails to control the ball.
18. New York Jets 3-3, (last week: 15)
The Jets continue to alternate wins and losses each week. What’s concerning here is that this may not continue with games against the Patriots, Bengals and Saints over the next three weeks.
19. Buffalo Bills 2-4, (last week: 18)
The Bills have not scored more than 24 points in a game this season. All four of their losses have come by a combined 25 points. Buffalo is on edge right now, but won’t sniff the playoffs without winning close games.
20. Arizona Cardinals 3-3, (last week: 21)
The good news, Arizona’s three losses have come to the Rams, Saints and 49ers. The bad news is that Arizona sits well back of San Francisco and Seattle without actually winning against them. If anything, the Cardinals may exceed expectations but need their personnel to rise up for any chance at playing January.
21. Houston Texans 2-4, (last week: 13)
The Texans are just continuing to free fall. Factor in Tennessee and Indianapolis looking light years better than them offensively and Houston will be knocked off the AFC South pinnacle before 2013 concludes.
22. San Diego Chargers 3-3, (last week: 26)
What is going on in Southern California? One week the Chargers get smacked by Oakland, but somehow manage to fend off the Colts in the next. Clearly San Diego has proven its upside potential, but Philip Rivers and co. won’t reach the NFL’s upper-echelon until they prove they can defeat inferior opponents.
23. Carolina Panthers 2-3, (last week: 24)
The Panthers can be tricky to dissect. Although they nearly upset Seattle in Week 1, Carolina got bulldozed by Arizona, but got a sound win over Minnesota. Facing St. Louis this week will be telling of whether this team can find consistency against NFC foes.
24. Minnesota Vikings 1-4, (last week: 20)
Adrian Peterson’s situation is beyond unimaginable at this point. And the Vikings must continue to fight and get through 2013.
25. Atlanta Falcons 1-4, (last week: 22)
Atlanta’s four losses are by a combined 19 points. So, we know the Falcons can still compete. However, not winning is not an option if the Dirty Birds want to reach January.
26. Oakland Raiders 2-4, (last week: 25)
Once again, quarterback play comes back to clip the Raiders. Not only was Terrelle Pryor picked off thrice times, but he was sacked 10 times against Kansas City. Yes, the Chiefs are sick defensively, but Pryor must improve at pre-snap reads and adjusting the blocking schemes much quicker.
27. Philadelphia Eagles 3-3, (last week: 27)
Hooray the Eagles are at .500! The downside is that the three wins have come against the Buccaneers, Giants and Redskins, who have a combined record of 1-15.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-4, (last week: 29)
Pittsburgh finally got off the schneid by defeating the Jets. And believe it or not, the Steelers still have time to make a run at the wild card.
29. Washington Redskins 1-4, (last week: 28)
Both sides of the ball for Washington are in dire straits. The offense is not high-powered, and the defense fails at generating turnovers and applying quarterback pressure.
30. New York Giants 0-6, (last week: 30)
Turnovers stick as New York’s Achilles’ heel. Eli Manning keeps throwing picks and the defense hasn’t helped the offense with additional possessions. Didn’t this team just win the Super Bowl two years ago? My how quickly things change.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5, (last week: 31)
So much for adding Darrelle Revis. Tampa Bay still allows a 62.1 completion percentage and ranks 16th in passing defense. Yes, it’s an improvement from 2012, however, not nearly good enough as the offense is terrible at moving the rock.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-6, (last week: 32)
Jacksonville put up a sound fight against the Broncos. Given that effort, the Jaguars could land a few wins this year against teams such as San Diego, Houston, Cleveland and/or Buffalo.
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