Green Bay Packers (5-0) - Previously: #1 - It says something that Aaron Rodgers had his worst performance at home in nearly three years, and yet the Packers still won by 14. This team is awesome. Thanks for the five units!
The only worry here is motivation down the stretch. If the Falcons and Panthers begin losing, Green Bay will have an easy stroll to homefield advantage. They at least have the NFC North in hand; they already have more wins than the other three teams in their division - combined!
New England Patriots (4-0) - Previously: #2 - Another win versus an unimpressive opponent still has me skeptical. The Patriots are better than I thought they were, but to call them the best team in the NFL is a stretch, for sure. Week 1's win came against a defense that didn't know how to line up. The next opponent was guilty of two penalties on almost every drive. And then, Blake Bortles and Brandon Weeden. I need to see much more.
By the way, I'm surprised that Bill Belichick allowed Greg Hardy to have a great game after what he said about Tom Brady's wife during the week. DE Woman Beater abused Brady so much that he's already planning to stash Brady somewhere in Colorado so that he can't testify against him.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-0) - Previously: #3 - Here are some things you may have heard on TV recently:
"THE BENGALS ARE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR! THEY WOULD OF LOSTED THIS GAME LAST YEAR!"
"BENGAL CAN NOW WIN CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE THEY MAKE A COMED BACK VS. SEAHAWK!"
"Andy 'Darren' Dalton made a great comeback against Russell 'Tom Hanks' friend' Wilson, right Tom, heh heh heh?"
The two illiterate former-player NFL analysts and Chris Berman could be right, but maybe, just maybe, it's not the Bengals that are different, but the Seahawks instead. Or maybe it's both. Regardless, I think Cincinnati has a good chance to win a playoff game this year because it's one of the "haves" in the NFL in terms of owning a good offensive line. Seattle is a "have not," so even though the Bengals won, I'm a bit disappointed that they needed a comeback to do so. They were favored by three and won by three, so it's hard to be overly impressed.
Arizona Cardinals (4-1) - Previously: #4 - If Cardinals-Lions happened to be a youth-league football game, they would have called it by the end of the third quarter. It was that lopsided, and the crazy thing is that I don't think Arizona played as well as it could have. The team made some mistakes early and actually trailed 7-0. But Bruce Arians once again proved that he is the man. He now owns a 26-11 ATS record, which is disgusting.
Atlanta Falcons (5-0) - Previously: #5 - Julio Jones and Leonard Hankerson were banged up, Matt Bryant missed two easy field goals, and many players were clearly looking ahead to their Thursday night game against the Saints, but yet the Falcons still managed to win. Thus, I won't penalize them even though they needed to go to overtime to defeat the Redskins.
Seattle Seahawks (2-3) - Previously: #6 - I find it strange that everyone on TV is now asking, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH TEH SEEHAWKS!?!?" following the defeat at Cincinnati. Losing on the road, in an early start on the East Coast, to a 5-0 opponent is no reason to begin panicking. The Seahawks were projected to lose by three, according to the consensus spread the sportsbooks set, and that was their exact margin of defeat.
People should have worried about this team long ago when it was apparent that A) the offensive line was terrible, and B) Jimmy Graham was already showing a bad attitude in the preseason. I joke about this, but going back in time and nullifying that trade would actually really benefit Seattle right now. And I think if the Seahawks offered Graham to the Saints for Max Unger and Stephone Anthony, New Orleans would turn it down in a heartbeat.
Denver Broncos (5-0) - Previously: #7 - When I'm 100 years old and muttering random stuff to myself at the old-age home, I'm sure one of the things will be, "Can't believe the Raiders didn't cover in Week 5, 2015." That was such a brutal loss. Forget the pick-six; if Sebastian Janikowski hits just one of the two easy field goals he missed, Oakland would have cashed. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Oh, and it goes without saying that Peyton Manning is done. A Facebook friend asked me if I wanted Manning to retire at the end of this year. I told him no, simply because I'll miss the betting opportunities. I cannot wait to fade him in the playoffs.
Carolina Panthers (4-0) - Previously: #8 - Panther fans: Are detractors getting you down? Are people citing all of the weak opponents your team has beaten (combined record 5-15)? If that's the case, just show them this meme:
And despite the order of these power rankings, I'm not entirely sure that's the case.
New York Giants (3-2) - Previously: #11 - The Giants "very easily" could be 5-0 right now, or at least that's what almost every analyst says. I suppose that's true, but then again New York could have lost Sunday night to the dreadful 49ers. Still, it was a somewhat impressive victory considering all of the injuries the team sustained during the game. New York was dominating the contest until Odell Beckham Jr., Jon Beason and Rueben Randle all got knocked out.
I said "almost" every analyst because that excludes Deion Sanders, who offered up this gem Sunday night:
"I can't wait till Victor Cruz get (sic) back!"
Can we stop it already with Victor Cruz? It's highly likely he won't be returning, and even if he somehow makes it back, he won't nearly be the same athlete he once was because no player has ever thrived after a torn patellar tendon. It just doesn't happen, yet Sanders' ignorant mindset is the same one that led many people to waste a sixth-round fantasy pick on Cruz this summer.
Buffalo Bills (3-2) - Previously: #9 - The Bills had perhaps the ugliest win of the season at Tennessee. Two things, though: 1) They did prevail, so that can't be ignored. 2) They were missing so many of their key players, including their top two running backs, No. 1 receiver and starting safety. They'll look better once everyone returns.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 7 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) - Previously: #31 - The loser of Bucs-Jags was basically guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the power rankings. I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Jacksonville. I thought the team would be better this year, but apparently not. Losing to Matt Hasselbeck and Jameis Winston in consecutive weeks pretty much will have them locked in at No. 32 until they do something very impressive.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) - Previously: #32 - Congratulations to the Buccaneers on snapping their 11-game home-losing streak. It took a lot of hard work, perseverance and faith, but it eventually happened - the Buccaneers were able to finally schedule the Jaguars at home. Good job, guys.
It amused me that the Jaguars-Buccaneers game was competitive. It's like when 1-AA schools like UT-Chattanooga and Wofford schedule Alabama for some reason. Both get blown out, but then have a "good" game when they play each other. That's what Jags-Bucs felt like. Both teams finally had a chance to win, so it was exciting!
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) - Previously: #15 - I don't know if I recall a team plummeting in my power rankings like this, but that's what happens when a player of Jamaal Charles' caliber is lost for the year. The Chiefs were up 17-3 in the red zone when Charles tore his ACL. They ended up losing 18-17, failing to score a single point without their top player despite battling Chicago's crappy defense. It's a shame, but this Kansas City squad may not win more than one game the rest of the way.
29. Chicago Bears (2-3) - Previously: #30 - Jay Cutler has now screwed the Bears twice by beating bad teams and messing up draft position. He's poisonous for every single reason possible.
Here's the Cutler meme of the week, with Cutler showing off following his "impressive" win:
Nice job, Jay. You are truly an inspiration to young athletes everywhere.
28. Houston Texans (1-4) - Previously: #27 - As I wrote in the recaps, if the Texans can't beat the Colts with Matt Hasselbeck, how will they ever take down Andrew Luck? Speaking of Luck, his owner had some interesting things to say Thursday night. Here were some memorable tweets from Jim Irsay during the game:
ugh why is there a game on thurs nite??? im missing heros reborn for this
people are telling me to just dvr the show wtf is dvr??? do they mean vcr??? my vcr stopped working!!!!!!!
THIS IS REDICULOS HOW AM I GOING TO FIND OUT IF CLAIRE BENNETT IS ALIVE IF I CANT WATCH HEROS REBORN CUZ OF THIS STUPID GAME!!!!!
ANDREW LUCK ISNT EVEN PLAYING. ITS SOME OLD A**HOLE I FORGTOT I SIGNED
YEAH!!! WE WRECKED RYAN MAMLLETT AND NOW HES RUNNING TO THE SIDE LINE HES HURT HAHAHAHA HURT THEM ALL! INJURY THEM ALL! THEY DONT HAVE CLAIRE BENNETS PWOERS!!!
"@NFLCommish Stop wishing for other players to be hurt. Be respectful." LOLOLOLOLOL LOOKS LIKE GOODALL IS ONCE AGAIN TRYING TO SURPRASS ME BUT HE WONT!!!!
"@NFLCommish Please, Jim, stop being a jerk." A JERK LOLOLOL YOUR THE JERK MAKIING ME MISS HEROS REBORN WITH THIS STUPID THURS NITE GAME IDIOT!!!!
AHAHAHAHAHA RYAN MALLETT IS CRYING ON THE SIDE LINE BECAUSE HE CANT PLAY I FEEL YOU MALETT YOU JUST WANT TO WATCH HEROS REBORN
Hey @RealRyanMallett I have a joke for you. Knock knock whos this Ryan. Ryan who? RYAN IS CRYING LIKE A B**CH ON NATIONAL TV THATS WHAT HAHAHAHAHAHA
I MEAN RYAN MALELTT IS CRYING LIKE A B8**HC ON NATIONAL TV HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA "@NFLCommish Jim! Stop being mean!" WELL MAYBE I WOULDNT BE SO MEAN IF SOME NFL COMMISH DIDNT FORCED ME TO MISS HEROS REBORN!!!!
27. Detroit Lions (0-5) - Previously: #21 - Despite their winless record, I don't think the Lions are the worst team in the league. They played close to Denver and Seattle, so they'll win eventually. But not if they remain in their current condition...
26. San Francisco 49ers (1-4) - Previously: #29 - "The 49ers have a roster to die for." - Trent Dilfer, Week 1.
Never forget Trent's wise words. Never forget.
25. New Orleans Saints (1-4) - Previously: #24 - It's a shame what happened to the Saints, but then again, they did this to themselves. There was that whole Bountygate thing, then their front office made crappy signings/trades, and then they inexplicably continued to employ a drunken pirate as their defensive coordinator. Seriously, Sean Payton and Rob Ryan hated each other, and Ryan's defense was awful last year, so why did they continue to keep him on? And now they're going to lose Payton at the end of the season, which will just compound mistakes. Dumb. So dumb.
24. Tennessee Titans (1-3) - Previously: #23 - The Titans squandered what should've been their second win, but better days are coming. Anyway, here's a Recap of all the Week 5 NFL games, including Steelers-Chargers.
23. Miami Dolphins (1-3) - Previously: #28 - This might have been the best thing I've ever seen. Steven of FootballFanSpot.com first posted this on my Facebook wall:
I actually think the Dolphins might turn things around with Dan Campbell as their head coach... unless, of course, he gets too distracted checking privileges:
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Minnesota Vikings (2-2). Previously: #10
12. New York Jets (3-1). Previously: #13
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2). Previously: #19
14. Indianapolis Colts (3-2). Previously: #14
15. Washington Redskins (2-3). Previously: #26
16. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3). Previously: #18
17. Baltimore Ravens (1-4). Previously: #17
18. St. Louis Rams (2-3). Previously: #22
19. San Diego Chargers (2-3). Previously: #12
20. Dallas Cowboys (2-3). Previously: #16
21. Oakland Raiders (2-3). Previously: #25
22. Cleveland Browns (2-3). Previously: #28
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: