NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Beware the Bills
Join BetAmerica Extra columnist Zack Rhodes as he fearlessly slices and dices all 32 teams and ranks them in order according to their Week 6 performance and Week 7 outlook.
1. New England Patriots (6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS)The dream season rolls on for the Brady bunch as they prepare to take on the suddenly “unstoppable” Jets. However, something tells me that Belichick will have his #1 defense ready in what could be a surprisingly competitive divisional game in the Meadowlands.
2. New Orleans Saints (5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS)The injury to Drew Brees has solidified in my mind that the Saints are the most unified team in the league. The Patriots may be a more complete team, but this Saints squad, motivated by two years of heartbreak and a defense that can finally match its offense, is special.
3. Green Bay Packers (5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS)Aided by some questionable calls, Green Bay just continues to win football games despite several key injuries and a questionable defense. I remain skeptical about this Green Bay team, but they’ve earned this top 5 placement in the rankings.
4. San Francisco 49ers (5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS)The Niners showed that their undefeated start was no fluke in their dominating win over the Rams last week. This is a San Francisco team that’s quickly built a nice foundation, unlike the dysfunction that surrounds Kyle Shanahan’s old team, the Washington Redskins, which just so happens to be the 49ers’ opponent this week. I’m inclined to say Niners by a million, but they are coming off a huge win and are now forced to travel across the country. Not exactly ideal.
5. Minnesota Vikings (4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS)It was great to see the Vikings finally play up to their potential in their convincing win over the Eagles last week. Kirk Cousins is obviously the key, but if the capable passing game is working for Minnesota, then the sky is the limit.
6. Seattle Seahawks (5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS)Russell Wilson is now the prohibitive and deserving front-runner to win the MVP. Dude’s been unreal all season as he continues to will Seattle to victories. Next up is a home game this week against the Ravens as Earl Thomas returns to his old stomping grounds. Should be a fun game.
7. Indianapolis Colts (3-2 SU and 3-1-1 ATS)The Colts come into the key divisional home game against the Texans this week off a bye and they get star linebacker Darius Leonard back off a concussion, so Indy should be at their best. The Colts will certainly have the advantage when it comes to offensive lines.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS)Despite the win over the Broncos on Thursday night, the Chiefs are an undeniably flawed team that struggles to stop the run and struggles to establish the run, which has led to a time of possession problem. Joe Flacco and a leaky Broncos offensive line may have not been able to take advantage, but the Colts and Texans laid out the blueprint to beat this Kansas City team. And now comes the injury to Mahomes. Hopefully the reigning MVP isn’t out too long because he’s must-watch TV week in and week out.
Next up: Green Bay Packers
9. Buffalo Bills (4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS)The biggest movers in the rankings this season, the surprising Bills come off their bye and suddenly find themselves as 17-point favorites this week against the lowly Dolphins. Buffalo’s offense continues to be a huge question mark, but this defense is legit.
10. Carolina Panthers (4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS)Kyle Allen has taken the league by storm, as he’s now the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first five starts without throwing an interception. Pretty damn impressive. So impressive that the Panthers may decide to trade Cam Newton and start over with the former Texas A&M QB. It’s going to be fascinating to see how things play out in Carolina over the next couple of weeks.
Next up: San Francisco 49ers
11. Houston Texans (4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS)How can you not be a fan of Deshaun Watson? Perhaps the most impressive dude in the game right now both on the field and off of it, Watson will need to be at his best again this week as Houston travels to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in a key divisional match-up.
12. Detroit Lions (2-2-1 SU and 4-1 ATS)Despite struggling to finish games, Detroit continues to impress, especially offensively. Kenny Golladay has become one of my favorite receivers in the league. After tough losses to the Chiefs and Packers, the Lions will once again have to be at their best this week as they welcome the Vikings to town.
13. Los Angeles Rams (3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS)Jared Goff topped my most disappointing players list this week, as the former #1 overall pick is coming off one of the worst performances in his career. You have to think McVay will get things back on track this week against a bad Falcons defense. Both teams will be desperate, especially Atlanta, in what could be one of the more interesting games of the weekend.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS)The Eagles were exposed a bit as a motivated Kirk Cousins torched the Philly secondary, passing for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Hard to see a struggling Dallas offensive attack putting up those same numbers, but you have to imagine Dak was taking notes as the Cowboys gear up for the key divisional match-up against Philadelphia this Sunday night.
15. Dallas Cowboys (3-3 SU and 3-3 ATS)Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I wrote earlier this week that I respect Jerry Jones for trying stability for a change, but after eight years of mediocrity, it’s time for Jerry to part ways with the ultimate company man, Jason Garrett, and get someone in there that can get the most out of this talented Cowboys roster. And I know it sounds crazy, but I think young gun defensive backs coach Kris Richard is the man for the moment.
16. Chicago Bears (3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS)Just like the Cowboys, it’s painful to see such a talented team mired in the middle of the rankings. I’m interested to see what Matt Nagy came up with during the bye as the Bears get set to take on the Saints in one of the better games of the weekend. I’ll say it again, despite Chicago’s offensive line troubles, David Montgomery is the key.
17. Baltimore Ravens (4-2 SU and 1-4-1 ATS)It’s interesting because I feel like it’s nearly impossible to distinguish the teams ranked 17-23. And it’s only right that three AFC North teams are included in that group. With Big Ben out for the season and the Browns unable to block anyone up front, the Ravens are in the driver’s seat to take the division, but it’s hard to have confidence in a team that’s only cashed one time at the window this season.
18. Oakland Raiders (3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS)After their surprising win over the offensively-challenged Bears in London, the Raiders are suddenly above .500 and find themselves with a chance to make some noise, especially with Patrick Mahomes possibly missing some time. Can the Gruden magic continue this week at Lambeau Field?
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4 SU and 3-3 ATS)Minshew magic will look to return this week as the Jaguars take on a reeling Bengals squad. Even with Jalen Ramsey now in L.A., this is still a capable team that will continue to be competitive throughout the season.
20. Tennessee Titans (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)With the season on the line, the Titans now turn to a dude that played wide receiver for the majority of his college career. Ryan Tannehill wasn’t the answer for Texas A&M or the Miami Dolphins, and it’s hard to imagine him being the answer in Tennessee.
21. Cleveland Browns (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)The Browns are on a much-needed bye this week as they prepare to take on the Patriots next week in Foxborough. Freddie Kitchens vs. Bill Belichick. Yikes.
Next up: New England Patriots
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)Despite the frustrating losses and bone-headed turnovers by Jameis Winston, I just can’t quit this Bucs team. The return of rookie linebacker Devin White is big as the roller coaster of a season takes a much needed break this week with this talented, but flawed Bucs squad on a bye.
Next up: Tennessee Titans
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4 SU and 3-2-1 ATS)Somehow the Steelers are holding things together with band-aids and shoe strings, but Pittsburgh’s season is not yet lost as they look to get healthy during the bye this week and then prepare for three straight home games, starting with the Dolphins next Monday night.
Next up: Miami Dolphins
24. New York Giants (2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS)As expected, Daniel Jones got a dose of NFL reality over the last two weeks against the Vikings and Patriots, but expect the hype to return with the Cardinals coming to town this weekend. The likely return of Saquon Barkley also helps.
25. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4 SU and 1-4-1 ATS)The free fall continues as Anthony Lynn joins Dan Quinn on the hottest seats in the league right now. Injuries at safety aside, this talented Chargers team continues to underperform, as they’re another team struggling due a questionable offensive line. With the season on the line, they now have to go on the road to face the Titans and Bears, two capable teams that will be equally desperate to get back on the winning track.
26. New York Jets (1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS)After the big win over the Cowboys, you can’t blame young Sam Darnold for getting carried away this week in saying the Jets offense can be “unstoppable.” However, with Darnold back on the field and star linebacker C.J. Mosley likely to play Monday night against the Patriots, there’s plenty of reason for optimism as New York looks to turn its season around.
27. Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1 SU and 4-2 ATS)After a frustrating start to his career, Kyler Murray suddenly has the Cardinals on a two-game winning streak. Next up is a trip to the Meadowlands to take on fellow rookie Daniel Jones and the Giants in what could be a high-scoring affair.
28. Atlanta Falcons (1-5 SU and 1-5 ATS)There may not be a hotter seat in the NFL right now than the one Dan Quinn currently finds himself on. And honestly, it’s hard to argue a case supporting Quinn as this talented roster continues to find ways to lose. It’s desperation time in Atlanta as the Falcons welcome the struggling Rams to town this week.
29. Denver Broncos (2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS)I’m not going to lie, if I would have written this yesterday, I would have been a little bit higher on the Broncos and optimistic they could give the Chiefs and it’s questionable defense a game. This is another example of a capable team unable to play to its potential because of a terrible offensive line. And stone-footed Joe Flacco is a sitting duck behind a bad o-line.
Next up: Indianapolis Colts
30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-6 SU and 3-3 ATS)The Bengals have been competitive in the majority of their games so far, but it’s hard to be optimistic when the losses continue to pile up. Is this the week rookie head coach Zac Taylor gets his first win? It’s not going to be easy against an angry Jaguars team coming off two losses.
31. Washington Redskins (1-5 SU and 1-5 ATS)It was only right that the 2019 Dysfunctional Bowl came down to a failed 2-point conversion to decide the winner. The Redskins made the right move in parting ways with Jay Gruden, but their continued mismanagement of Dwayne Haskins is telling of a franchise that’s made the playoffs twice (both resulting in Wild Card losses) over the last 12 seasons. Put Haskins in there and let him take his lumps as he learns how to be an NFL quarterback.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS)I could just copy and paste the Redskins write-up and substitute the Dolphins. I get it, Fitzmagic gave you a chance to win a meaningless game last week and Josh Rosen was terrible, but like with Haskins, let the former UCLA star learn from his mistakes and give him a long leash to see if you can actually build some semblance of a foundation for the future. But of course that takes some long-term thinking and that seems to be non-existent in today’s NFL.