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NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Thanks to Brees, the Saints are all alone at the top

Thanks to Brees, the Saints are all alone at the top

Welcome to the Week 7 edition of the Cubicle GM NFL Power Rankings.  Every Tuesday you can look forward to our composite rankings, as well as a bit of brief insight and analysis about each of the 32 teams.

The rankings are determined by taking the average of each of the contributors here at The Cube.  For Week 7, we have rankings from four members of the Cubicle GM team, including me, Mickey, Walker and Smokey.  So remember, if you disagree with some portion of our rankings, be sure to check the individual rankings to find the culprit.

The top four spots in the rankings belong to the four remaining undefeated teams in the league.  The Saints have rightfully claimed their unanimous place at the top of the rankings after taking care of the Giants on Sunday in decisive fashion.

The Giants dropped three spots to No. 5 after their loss to New Orleans, while Indianapolis, Minnesota and Denver each moved up one spot as a result.  The only Top 10 team from last week to fall out was the Eagles after their disappointing loss to Oakland.

The bottom of the rankings remained unanimous, as all of us voted the St. Louis Rams as the No. 32 team as they remained undefeated. There were two new entries to the bottom five, as both Tennessee and Washington dropped five spots this week after bad losses.

This week’s games featured a few surprise winners, including Oakland’s win over Philly, Buffalo’s OT win over the Jets, and Houston taking down Cincinnati on the road.  As a result, there were quite a few jumps in the ranks this week.

Eight teams moved at least three spots up or down the ranks, with the Falcons, Texans, Bills and Raiders tying for the biggest positive movement after wins this week.  There were three teams tied for the biggest downward mover, as the Eagles, Titans and Redskins each dropped five places after their respective losses.

While many teams were jumping all over the rankings, the disagreements between the contributors in the ranks remained rare.  Just two weeks ago 14 teams saw a gap of seven or more spots in their ranks, while this week there were just two, with just one in double digits.

San Diego Chargers (11) – Smokey 10, Walker 21

Cleveland Browns (7) – Walker 23, Jacob 30

Dallas Cowboys (6) – Walker 13, Jacob 19

Houston Texans (6) – Smokey 15, Mickey 21

Miami Dolphins (6) – Walker 15, Smokey 21

On the divisional side, the NFC East continues to lead the way despite the drops from the Giants and Eagles, coming in with an average score of 11.69.  Coming in second was the AFC North with a score of 13.25, even though three of its four teams lost.  At the bottom, the NFC West cannot escape the last place Rams, checking in with a 22.06 average rank, followed by the NFC South with a 19.50 average thanks to Carolina and Tampa near the bottom.

As a reminder, you can check out all the backup data here.  Without further ado, onto the rankings.  As always, last week’s ranks are in parentheses.

1.  New Orleans Saints (1) – Drew Brees picked apart the Giants secondary as seven different Saints found the end zone in a big win for New Orleans.

2. Indianapolis Colts (3) – This upcoming Colts-Rams showdown could look a lot like Sunday’s Patriots-Titans blowout.

3. Minnesota Vikings (4) – The Vikings absolutely refuse to lose, holding off a three-score comeback by the Ravens to pull out their sixth victory to open the season.

4. Denver Broncos (5) – The Broncos simply cannot be scored upon in the 2nd half, allowing just three points to the Chargers in yet another victory.

5. New York Giants (2) – Among the things the Giants have to worry about after their first loss is Brandon Jacobs, who left the game with an injury and finished with just 33 yards rushing.

6. New England Patriots (7) – The Patriots must wish it could snow every week in Foxboro after a performance like that.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (8) – Ben Roethlisberger threw for 417 yards, but somehow the Steelers only scored 27 points and won by less than two scores.

8. Atlanta Falcons (11) – The Falcons defense really stepped it up in the red zone and held on late in the 4th quarter in their win over the Bears.

9. Baltimore Ravens (10) – One positive to take away from the Ravens’ narrow loss was the performance of RB Ray Rice against the No. 1 ranked run defense in the league.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (9) – After wins over Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Bengals lose to the Texans by double digits at home?

11.  Philadelphia Eagles (6) – I have no idea what to make of this Eagles team after they were unable to find the end zone in their loss to lowly Oakland.

12. Green Bay Packers (14) – The Packers might have beaten the Lions at full strength, but it seemed pretty easy without Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and then Daunte Culpepper.

13. New York Jets (12) – This was a day to forget for young Mark Sanchez, throwing five picks in an OT loss to the Bills.

14. Chicago Bears (13) – The Bears need to figure out what’s wrong with Matt Forte.  When the longest carry of the day is five yards it’s tough to win a game.

15. San Francisco 49ers (16) – The 49ers have another week to steam in their blowout loss to Atlanta before traveling to face Houston.

16. San Diego Chargers (15) – “Led by the new $93 million man, Philip Rivers, the Chargers should have an easy path to the postseason.”  That was my comment in the preseason.  Oops.

17.  Dallas Cowboys (17) – The next four games are crucial for Dallas if they want to make a run at the postseason, facing playoff contenders Atlanta, Seattle, Philadelphia and Green Bay.

18. Houston Texans (21) – The Texans became the first team to score more than 24 points against Cincinnati, thanks largely to Matt Schaub’s 392 passing yards.

19. Arizona Cardinals (19) – The Cardinals won easily over the Seahawks, but will need more from their running game if they want to compete with the Giants next week.

20. Miami Dolphins (18) – Despite being 2-3, the Dolphins remained in the AFC East race thanks to Buffalo’s victory over the Jets.

21. Carolina Panthers (22) – After starting 0-3, Carolina has a chance to make it three straight wins as they host Buffalo next week.

22. Seattle Seahawks (20) – The Seahawks rushed for just 14 yards on 11 carries, the longest of those being five yards.  Not exactly a formula for victory.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (23) – The Jags escape an embarrassing home loss to the Rams thanks to 133 yards and two scores from Maurice Jones-Drew.

24. Buffalo Bills (27) – Could Ryan Fitzpatrick be the answer in Buffalo?  He didn’t do much, but it was enough to pull out a win in the Meadlowlands.

25. Detroit Lions (26) – Tough to win, let alone score, missing two of your best offensive weapons.

26. Cleveland Browns (28) – Josh Cribbs might be the best player in the NFL nobody knows about, as he passed, ran, caught and returned for the Browns in Pittsburgh.

27. Kansas City Chiefs (29) – Despite not finding the end zone, the Chiefs were able to remove the winless monkey from their back.

28. Oakland Raiders (31) – The Raiders have found the end zone more than once in just one game this year, and it wasn’t in either of their two wins.

29. Tennessee Titans (24) – What could possibly constitute a 0.0 QB rating, if Kerry Collins’ 2-for-12 for minus-7 yards earns him a 4.9?

30. Washington Redskins (25) – After scoring just two field goals against KC, coach Jim Zorn has been stripped of his playcalling duties.  I think being fired would be less embarrassing.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30) – The Buccaneers got the third kickoff return TD in their franchise history, but it wasn’t enough to get them their first win of the season.

32. St. Louis Rams (32) – At least the Rams didn’t lose in regulation this week.

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