“Hey that’s great! But who are the Chefs?”
A double-whammy of kudos and props to anyone who gets this ’90s commercial reference.
And we’ll tell ya who the “Chefs” are… The 7-0 Kansas City Chiefs who now sit atop the 2013 NFL power rankings and are pro football’s final remaining undefeated team. How about that? After managing just two measly wins in 2012, the “Chefs” are one victory away from quadrupling their 2012 total.
The Broncos got exposed this week, courtesy of Peyton Manning’s successor in Andrew Luck from Indianapolis and the rankings have shaken up a bit. So let’s check ’em out.
1. Kansas City Chiefs 7-0, (last week: 2)
Kansas City has proven it can win close, big and by a solid amount. And is a team that can consistently do that when it plays defense, runs the rock effectively and doesn’t turn the ball over. The Chiefs are sound in every phase of the game.
2. Seattle Seahawks 6-1, (last week: 3)
The NFC’s version of the most complete team, Seattle does basically everything that Kansas City can do. The challenge now is to keep winning.
3. San Francisco 49ers 5-2, (last week: 4)
The 49ers ride a four-game win streak and remain right behind division rival Seattle. Expect at least two more wins in a row as well, with Jacksonville up next and Carolina after the bye week.
4. New Orleans Saints 5-1, (last week: 6)
New Orleans is still sitting pretty after the bye week. With the NFC North not showing any challengers yet, the Saints have a strong chance to earn a playoff bye this year.
5. Indianapolis Colts 5-2, (last week: 7)
The good Colts were suited up for Sunday’s upset win over Denver. However, if the bad Colts show up – like the ones that played at home versus Miami or at San Diego – Indy will remain vulnerable moving forward.
6. Denver Broncos 6-1, (last week: 1)
Denver doesn’t have a defense. The team lacks a dominant pass rush and its coverage is awful. Peyton Manning is just one guy and it appears this Broncos team is mirroring most of No. 18’s years in Indy (big offense, no defense).
7. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2, (last week: 8)
Cincinnati has won five of its last six games, four of which have come by a combined 17 points. The Bengals are cutting it close, but victories over Green Bay, New England and Detroit were quite impressive.
8. Green Bay Packers 4-2, (last week: 9)
Since falling to Cincinnati the Packers have rolled off three in a row. Currently leading the NFC North, Green Bay still has five division games left, but don’t expect the cheese to meltdown in 2013.
9. New England Patriots 5-2, (last week: 5)
New England still leads the AFC East, but it’s no longer a cakewalk. After falling to the Jets, Tom Brady and co. will be tested these next four games against Miami, Pittsburgh, (bye week) at Carolina and versus Denver.
10. Dallas Cowboys 4-3, (last week: 14)
After coughing up 81 points to the Chargers and Broncos, Dallas has allowed just 19 points in the past two weeks. If they keep this defensive confidence rolling, the Cowboys will be able to slow down Detroit and New Orleans before their bye week.
11. Detroit Lions 4-3, (last week: 12)
The Lions lost a tough home game to a strong Bengals team. But with just one victory over a team with a winning record (Chicago), how good are the Lions? We’ll find out against Dallas this week.
12. Baltimore Ravens 3-4, (last week: 10)
After starting 2-1 the Ravens have dropped three of their last four games. Fortunately for Baltimore the bye week comes right on time.
13. Miami Dolphins 3-3, (last week: 11)
Winners of three straight to kickoff 2013, Miami has quickly slid back to .500. Even worse, the Patriots and Bengals await in consecutive weeks.
14. Tennessee Titans 3-4, (last week: 15)
Tennessee goes into its bye week on a three-game losing streak. Now is the time to fix the running game woes, because Chris Johnson is hitting just 3.2 yards a pop with no touchdowns.
15. New York Jets 4-3, (last week: 18)
How for real are the 2013 Jets? One week Geno Smith looks incredible and then not so much thereafter. Defeating New England was certainly crucial for confidence, but New York has to stop alternating between wins and losses.
16. San Diego Chargers 4-3, (last week: 22)
Are the Chargers legit? Sure a 4-3 record at this stage looks nice, but is San Diego a facade? After all, the Bolts may have defeated Dallas and Indy, but they also fell to Oakland and Houston. Without question the Chargers can reach the playoffs, but winning the winnable games has to happen in 2013’s second half.
17. Buffalo Bills 3-4, (last week: 19)
Aside from losing to Cleveland, every game for the Bills this season has been thrilling. Getting a key win over Miami was huge in Week 7, however, can Buffalo keep it rolling? Facing the Saints and Chiefs these next two weeks will be telling.
18. Chicago Bears 4-3, (last week: 13)
What are the Bears going to do? The defense is failing and the offense isn’t explosive enough to match the team’s high-powered NFC foes. Factor in a 1-1 divisional record, and the Packers and Lions waiting after the bye week and it’s gut-check time in the Windy City.
19. Carolina Panthers 3-3, (last week: 23)
Carolina has a chance to be an NFC playoff sleeper because of its defense. But the offense has to generate a stronger aerial assault, otherwise the Panthers won’t slip past New Orleans, San Francisco or Atlanta.
20. St. Louis Rams 3-4, (last week: 16)
Sam Bradford’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Rams. Considering that Seattle, Tennessee and Indianapolis all line up across from St. Louis before Jeff Fisher’s team hits the bye week.
21. Cleveland Browns 3-4, (last week: 17)
Once again the Browns are without a reliable offense. And as that continues, the defense will gradually crumble since Cleveland can only last for so long when playing consistently well on one side of the ball.
22. Arizona Cardinals 3-4, (last week: 20)
Believe it or not, but the Cardinals have a chance to get back in the mix here coming up. With games against Atlanta, (bye week) Houston and Jacksonville before Indianapolis, Arizona could very well sport a 6-4 record.
23. Atlanta Falcons 2-4, (last week: 25)
Fear not if you’re a Falcons fans. All four of Atlanta’s losses have come against teams with a record at or above .500. The question is whether Matt Ryan can rally his team without key receivers.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-4, (last week: 28)
Are the Steelers back? Two straight wins has Pittsburgh on the edge of peeking into the AFC North race. However, road games at Oakland and New England will challenge whether the Steel City is able to make a valiant comeback after starting 0-4.
25. Oakland Raiders 2-4, (last week: 26)
Oakland has everything except a passing offense. Perhaps we’ll see just that after the bye week, though, because the Raiders have the defense to make some noise in the AFC.
26. Washington Redskins 2-4, (last week: 29)
Washington still doesn’t have much of a defense. Fortunately, Robert Griffin III and the offense got back on track by putting up 45 on the Bears.
27. Houston Texans 2-5, (last week: 21)
Is this the beginning of the Case Keenum era? Well, it’s certainly not the worst that has unfolded during Houston’s five-game skid. But with Week 8 as the Texans’ bye, perhaps the second half will show more promise.
28. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4, (last week: 27)
Philly may be 3-4, but its wins are anything but impressive. For this team to contend in the NFC, winning at home versus Dallas had to occur. Alas it did not.
29. New York Giants 1-6, (last week: 30)
Big Blue finally got a win. And Week 8 could be the season’s turning point should the Giants find a way to win in Philadelphia.
30. Minnesota Vikings 1-5, (last week: 24)
When Adrian Peterson gets isolated, as he did on Monday night, what are the Vikings to do? Nothing. And Minnesota’s rough season will continue as such until the offense figures out how to throw the rock somewhat efficiently.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-6, (last week: 31)
Combine a lackluster offense with a vulnerable defense and rough schedule and Tampa Bay will be lucky to win two games this season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-7, (last week: 32)
Jacksonville has the receiving arsenal to come up with big plays. Unfortunately, the Jaguars don’t have any way to set up the pass by running and should that somehow happen, there’s no reliable quarterback to capitalize on play-action.
Follow John on Twitter @Rozum27