It’s Wednesday, which means I’ve had more than enough time to analyze the games from the 7th week of this NFL season and determine how those outcomes affect the GuysNation view of the NFL Power Rankings.  I’ve consulted several individuals as well as reviewing the comments received from various people – some who agreed with the GuysNation Power Rankings, others who didn’t.  I will say that there was a problem with my analysis last week, as one of the factors I meant to include wasn’t shown in the final result.  Because of that, I’ve not only indicated how a team’s current Power Rank compares to where they were ranked last week, but I’ve also included some information about how they’ve done over the past three weeks.

As always, your comments matter, and I do take them into account when I do the next week’s rankings, so certainly tell me what you think.

32 – Buffalo Bills (0-6) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(No change from Week 5, with a record of 0-2 since then)

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Bills are in this spot, as they’re the only remaining team without a win.  Their close game against Baltimore shows what kind of potential they have.  A victory against the Ravens would’ve propelled them up the rankings quite a bit, but they couldn’t get it done in overtime.

31 – Carolina Panthers (1-5) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(No change from Week 5, with a record of 1-1 since then)

After regrouping during their bye-week to recover from a big loss to the Bears in Carolina, the Panthers got their first win of the season, a measly 3 point victory over the lowly San Francisco 49’ers in a game that the Panthers should’ve won by a larger margin, considering that the 49’ers had to travel across the country to play the game.  The Panthers could very easily find themselves behind the Bills if Buffalo finds a way to win, or even if Buffalo finds a way to have a close game against another good team.

30 – Dallas Cowboys (1-5) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 5 with a record of 0-3 since then)

I thought the article by Bud Fisher about the Cowboys losing all their games this season was chemically-influenced, but he might not be far off on this one.  Not only does Dallas lose to the Giants in a game played in Texas, but they lose their starting quarterback in the process.  I like Jon Kitna, but it has been a while since he started an NFL game.  Jerry Jones better be hoping that Kitna gets some of the Kurt Warner rejuvenation and helps his team rebound.

29 – Detroit Lions (1-5) Dropped 1 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 5 with a record of 1-1 since then)

Though the Lions drop a spot during their bye week as the Vikings, Browns and Raiders move up the board, Detroit is a better team now than they were a couple weeks ago, with Jahvid Best and Matthew Stafford getting back onto the field for the upcoming game.  Don’t expect Detroit to stay in this spot too much longer.

28 – San Francisco 49ers (1-6) Dropped 2 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

Though they lost to the Panthers, it was a very close game that the 49’ers had to travel across the country to play, so I don’t fault them too terribly.  They got a win against Oakland in Week 6, and that’s looking better all the time given how the Raiders are starting to play.

27 – Denver Broncos (2-5) Dropped 10 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 8 since Week 5 with a record of 0-3 since then)

The Broncos looked decent to start the season, but they’ve collapsed as of late.  Their loss at Baltimore is not a big deal.  Losing to the Jets at home had to be frustrating, but to follow that up with a HUGE loss to Oakland while playing in Colorado is a BIG deal.  BIG.

26 – St. Louis Rams (3-4) Dropped 2 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 8 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

The Rams need some consistency.  They looked decent earlier in the season, then they lose big to the Lions, beat the Chargers in a close game, then lose to the Buccaneers in a close game.  I feel like they’re on the verge of showing something… but they need to do better.  They were probably ranked too well last week, as I keep forgetting that the Chargers aren’t a great team despite the fact that they’re well ranked on offense AND defense.

25 – San Diego Chargers (2-5) Dropped 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 12 since Week 5 with a record of 0-3 since then)

Statistics lie.  The Chargers are not good, even though at times they keep themselves in games.  I don’t care that the margins were close in their last two games, the fact is that the Chargers haven’t won a game in a while.  I keep hearing that when Malcolm Floyd comes back they’ll be better… but I just don’t see it.

24 – Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) Dropped 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

I thought Jacksonville was on the rebound this year.  Now it looks like they’re not.  The Week 6 loss at home in horrible fashion by a huge margin to division opponent Tennessee was just the start.  Then they gave Chiefs fans a reason to think Kansas City is for real as the Arrowhead faithful got to watch their offense run up 40+ on the Jaguars.  This team is part of the reason how I know that Denver isn’t a good team.

23 – Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 7 since Week 5 with a record of 0-2 since then)

It’s tough to follow up a bye-week with a road game against a non-divisional opponent as tough as the Falcons – one of the best teams in the NFL – so I can’t fault the Bengals too much for losing that game.  They still haven’t done much to show what they’re worth, aside from the win against Baltimore (which only goes to show how close divisional games can be, especially with home field advantage).  Their other win is over Carolina, which doesn’t impress me one bit.

22 – Minnesota Vikings (2-4) Climbed 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 2 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

A small win at home against Dallas isn’t much to work from, but it was a start.  They followed that up with a VERY close game against a good Packers team with the game IN Green Bay.  They’re showing signs of life, though they need good production from their quarterback the next few weeks if they want to keep on the rise.

21 – Arizona Cardinals (3-3) Dropped 5 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 4 since Week 5 with a record of 1-1 since then)

After a victory at home over New Orleans where they got out-gained on offense, the Cardinals fail to win the division road game up in Emerald City.  It’s tough to predict what the Cardinals are going to look like in the coming weeks because their QB position is up in the air.  I, personally, like John Skelton, but what do I know?

20 – Miami Dolphins (3-3) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 5, with a record of 1-1 since then)

Sure, they only lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by 1 point involving a controversial play, but it was still a loss and they had an opportunity to get back into scoring position before the game was over.  I almost put them into the number 21 spot, but I’ll give them some benefit of the doubt.  It was a home game, though.

19 – Cleveland Browns (2-5) Climbed 10 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 8 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

While the Browns have a couple of interesting weapons on offense, it’s their defense which increasingly looks to be the strength of this team.  Granted it’s not THAT strong just yet, they took some decent strides against the Saints in Week 7 which should give them some confidence moving forward.  Why are they this high?  All five of their losses are to quality teams (@Pittsburgh, Atlanta, @Baltimore, Kansas City, @Tampa Bay).

18 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 6 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

They got a win in Week 7, but it was a home victory by only 1 point that they won LATE in the game.  Not impressed.  Nor am I impressed at all by their loss at home by a big margin to the Saints back in Week 6.

17 – Houston Texans (4-2) Dropped 6 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 7 since Week 5 with a record of 1-1 since then)

Houston drops down as other teams surpass them, and as I account for some things this week that I didn’t account for adequately last week.  Their performance in Week 8 following their bye week is going to go a long way to showing what this team is capable of doing.

16 – Oakland Raiders (3-4) Climbed 11 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 12 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

I was NOT expecting to see the Raiders put up nearly 60 points on the Broncos.  Not even close.  I don’t know what that says about Denver’s run defense or the Oakland offense – especially because the Raiders had a bad day passing the ball despite the huge score they posted.  That said, they’ve now won two of their last three, and if they continue their yo-yo season, they’ll probably stay somewhere between here and 20th on the list for the remainder of the year.  I’d be really surprised if they moved into the top 15.  In fact, I’d guess that I’m going to hear from people that this ranking is too high.  Be prepared to make an argument if that’s what you believe.

15 – Chicago Bears (4-3) Dropped 2 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 6 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

The Bears follow up a Week 6 loss in Chicago to Seattle by 3…. with a Week 7 loss at Soldier Field to the Washington Redskins by 3.  Bears fans can’t be happy with how sloppy their team is playing.  Big wins over Carolina aren’t going to cut it.

14 – Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) Dropped 4 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 3 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

I realize that Tennessee is one of the top teams in the league (sorry, did I need a spoiler alert for that?), but the Eagles were trying to be one of the top teams in the NFC, and losing by such a big margin to the Titans in Week 7 – albeit on the road – is not a good sign.  I don’t want to hear any complaints about quarterback injuries, because Kolb AND Vick are starter-quality QBs.

13 – Seattle Seahawks (4-2) Climbed 6 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 9 since Week 5 with a record of 2-0 since then)

Two wins in a row for the Seahawks against two middle-of-the-road teams (@Chicago; Arizona) has them starting to climb a bit.  They still need to improve in road games, where they’re 1-2 this year.  3-0 at home is a good thing, and if they stay undefeated at home, 9 total wins might be enough to win that division.

12 – New Orleans Saints (4-3) Dropped 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

Saints fans keep telling me that I’m wrong about their team.  I’ve heard countless comments about how the Saints are going to be a much improved team once they get Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sharper back.  Fine, at that point I’ll start looking at them differently.  For now I’m seeing them follow up a big win at a division rival with a loss to a team in the lower half of the league, Cleveland, in a game played in Louisiana.

11 – Green Bay Packers (4-3) Climbed 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

That win over Minnesota gets them back on track after two straight losses, but that was a divisional home game so they shouldn’t get too excited.  Brett Favre almost lead another comeback at Lambeau Field.  I’m still not convinced that they should’ve moved up these three spots, so this one is certainly open for debate.

10 – Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) Climbed 5 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 5 since Week 5 with a record of 1-2 since then)

After a pair of road losses, I’m sure the Chiefs were excited about some home cooking in Week 7, which is why they were able to get back on track with a huge blow-out win over the Jaguars, taking Kansas City to a record of 3-0 at home.

9 – Washington Redskins (4-3) Climbed 3 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 14 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

Is this a “homer” pick?  Not at all.  The Redskins follow up a close game at home against one of the league’s elite teams by taking their game on the road to beat the Bears in Chicago.  Washington’s strength of schedule is what helps gets them into the Top 10.

8 – Indianapolis Colts (4-2) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 3 since Week 5 with a record of 2-0 since then)

The Colts get to keep the 8 spot while on bye week, and it’s easy to see how they got there after two straight wins over teams who are in my Top 10 of these rankings.

7 – Atlanta Falcons (5-2) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 4 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

The game against the Bengals might’ve been a bit too close for comfort for some people, so that’s why I’m not going to let them climb much.  Their loss in Week 6 is the reason they drop back a bit, as they had only lost to Pittsburgh prior to that second loss.

6 – New York Giants (5-2) Dropped 1 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 9 since Week 5 with a record of 3-0 since then)

Four straight wins from the Giants force me to put them increasingly higher on the list, but I wasn’t especially impressed by a victory over the Cowboys where they had to make a comeback to end up on the winning end.  Dallas still managed to keep it somewhat close, even with Jon Kitna at quarterback.  Given what I’ve seen, I can’t force myself to rank the giants above any of the top 5 teams on this list.

5 – New England Patriots (5-1) Climbed 1 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 1 since Week 5 with a record of 2-0 since then)

I caught some flack for my ranking of the Patriots last time, and that’s because of a flaw in part of my analysis tool I developed and use to determine these Power Rankings.  They went west coast and beat the Chargers, but that’s not a terribly impressive victory given what we’ve seen from San Diego.  I still can’t rank the Patriots ahead of the Ravens despite the Patriots winning the game – as it was a much closer game than the Patriots should’ve allowed given the game was in New England.  There’s also not a lot of other impressive items on the Patriots resume.  Cincinnati?  Buffalo?  I don’t want to hear that you can only just beat the teams on your schedule.  I’m not slagging the Patriots for having a record of 5-1, I’m just saying there are four teams in the league who seem more powerful than New England.  Sorry Belichick.

4 – Baltimore Ravens (5-2) Dropped 1 from Week 7 Rank
(Dropping 3 since Week 5 with a record of 2-1 since then)

I really didn’t like the way the game transpired between the Ravens and the Bills, with Baltimore losing early at home and then mounting a good comeback, only to have the worst team in the league take them to overtime, forcing the Ravens to win it in extra time.  Did I mention the game was played in Maryland?  That shouldn’t have happened like that.

3 – Tennessee Titans (5-2) Climbed 1 from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 11 since Week 5 with a record of 3-0 since then)

A big win over a quality team in Week 7 kept the Titans on track to have them in the Top 5.  They moved up because Baltimore moved back.

2 – Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(No change from Week 5, with a record of 2-0 since then)

I’m very tempted to have dropped the Steelers back a step given that their win against Miami was very close to being a loss… but I won’t.  I still like the way the Steelers played in their first four games this season, and I think they’re even better now with Ben Roethlisberger in there.  If Baltimore had won in convincing fashion, the Steelers might’ve been in the # 3 spot, but I can’t imagine having ranked them any lower than that.  Their strength of schedule thus far has them definitely above New England and Tennessee (especially due to the win against the Titans IN Tennessee).

1 – New York Jets (5-1) No Change from Week 7 Rank
(Climbing 3 since Week 5 with a record of 2-0 since then)

The Jets are going to have plenty to prove when they return from a Week 7 bye week if they want to keep this top spot.  Their victories aren’t necessarily going to cut it much longer, as Minnesota, Denver and Miami aren’t improving very much, and the Buffalo Bills still haven’t won a game.  The fact that the Jets have won 3 games on the road is a big factor to letting them stay here, especially because they’ve got a two-touchdown win over New England on their resume.

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Don’t like the rankings?  Think someone should be moved up or moved back?  Give me any and all of your comments in response to this article and I’ll see if you’re persuasive enough to affect how I rank teams next week.

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