NFL Power Rankings: Week 7 | Football | CBC Sports

NFL Power RankingsNFL Power Rankings: Week 7

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 02:13 PM

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Darren Sproles rushed for a touchdown and caught another in New Orleans' 62-7 rout of Indianapolis on Sunday night. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Darren Sproles rushed for a touchdown and caught another in New Orleans' 62-7 rout of Indianapolis on Sunday night. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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The Packers and Patriots stay on top, while the Saints march into the top four as CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League through Week 7.
Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

1. GREEN BAY PACKERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-0
Streak: Won seven
Of the six Aaron Rodgers incompletions against the Vikings, only one was off target. How do you defend that?
2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS [unchanged]
Overall record: 5-1
Streak: Won three
Last season, the Patriots dominated the Steelers in Pittsburgh with a methodical passing game and a surprisingly physical defence. It'll be interesting to see what coach Bill Belichick has in store for the Steelers this time.
3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS [up from 4]
Overall record: 5-1
Streak: Won four
The 49ers didn't even play yet gained another game on the rest of the NFC West. This division is truly pathetic.
4. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS [up from 7]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won one
There is no QB, and I mean no QB, that looks off defenders better than Drew Brees, who shredded the Colts for 325 yards and five touchdowns.
5. BALTIMORE RAVENS [down from 3]
Overall record: 4-2
Streak: Lost one
That was one of the worst offensive displays I've ever seen from a Super Bowl hopeful team. Joe Flacco had a total of eight passing yards against the Jaguars in the first half. On two separate drives, the Ravens faced a pair of third down situations of 30 yards or more. Simply embarrassing!
6. PITTSBURGH STEELERS [up from 9]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Won three
With the Steelers still struggling in the running game, it's a good thing receiver Mike Wallace is such great deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger.
7. DETROIT LIONS [down from 6]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Lost two
The Lions can't run the football and their passing game can't carry the load alone. San Francisco and Atlanta figured that out, which will only give other opponents more film to work with.
8. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS [down from 5]
Overall record: 4-2
Streak: Lost one
What is wrong with Philip Rivers this year? He totally unravelled in the second half against the Jets, and that two-minute offence was awful. The Chargers will go nowhere if Rivers continues down this path.
9. BUFFALO BILLS [up from 10]
Overall record: 4-2
Streak: Lost one
The Bills need a victory in Toronto against the Redskins if they really want to challenge for a playoff berth. These are the kind of games post-season bound teams win.
10. N.Y. GIANTS [up from 12]
Overall record: 4-2
Streak: Won one
The Giants should have no problems handling Miami Sunday, but the following six games (@N.E., @S.F., Phi, @N.O., G.B., @Dal), should determine their playoff fate.
11. OAKLAND RAIDERS [down from 8]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Lost one
To be fair, you can't expect Carson Palmer, who tossed three interceptions against the Chiefs in his Raiders debut, to come in and light things up when he knows 10 per cent of the playoff book. But Palmer will have a bye week and all the reps when Denver comes for a visit in Week 9. The win-now Raiders paid a steep price to get Palmer, so the veteran needs to pick up the offence in a hurry.
12. N.Y. JETS [up from 14]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
The Jets victory over the Chargers was the most complete game they've played all year. New York has gotten back to basics with the emphasis on running the ball and playing tough defence.
13.CINCINNATI BENGALS [up from 15]
Overall record: 4-2
Streak: Won three
The Bengals had a very productive week despite their bye week. You have to hand it to owner Mike Brown. Even though he swore he'd never to trade Carson Palmer, the Raiders upped the ante with two high draft picks and Brown wisely accepted.
14. HOUSTON TEXANS [up from 17]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won one
Who needs Andre Johnson when Arian Foster can run for 115 yards and add another 119 as a receiver? As I've said before, the Texans can overcome losses to Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams because they have enough pieces in place to contend.
15.CHICAGO BEARS [up from 19]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
Memo to GM Jerry Angelo: pay Matt Forte. The longer you keep holding out, the more it's going to cost you later.
16. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS [down from 11]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Lost one
I thought Josh Freeman was done with the Jekyll and Hyde routine. Four more interceptions against the Bears puts Freeman at 10 in seven games. He only threw six all of last season.
17. ATLANTA FALCONS [up from 18]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: Won two
How did Matt Ryan escape major knee-ankle-foot damage after his offensive lineman, Will Svitek, stepped on his leg? Fortunately for the Falcons, the franchise came back and helped hold off the Lions.
18. TENNESSEE TITANS [down from 13]
Overall record: 3-3
Streak: Lost two
The Titans didn't just lose to Houston at home, they were crushed. This team has now given up 79 points in its last two games.
19. DALLAS COWBOYS [up from 20]
Overall record: 3-3
Streak: Won one
It's only been two games and you can already see that running back DeMarco Murray, who set a franchise record with 253 yards against the Rams, has the ability to break more tackles than Felix Jones.
20. WASHINGTON REDSKINS [down from 16]
Overall record: 3-3
Streak: Lost two
Now what? The Redskins switched from Rex Grossman to John Beck and still can't figure out a way to win. The news gets worse as running back Tim Hightower (torn ACL) is out for the year and receiver Santana Moss (broken left hand) is gone for the next five-to-seven weeks. That's on top of the news that tight end Chris Cooley's season ended with a knee injury.
21. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS [up from 24]
Overall record: 3-3
Streak: Won three
The Chiefs played outstanding defence in Oakland, forcing six Raider interceptions en route to a shutout win.
22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES [down from 21]
Overall record: 2-4
Streak: Won one
You can pretty much bury the Eagles if they drop their all-important home matchup to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night.
23. CLEVELAND BROWNS [down from 22]
Overall record: 3-3
Streak: Won one
Nothing like a 6-3 win against one of the worst teams in football to bore the fan base to tears. I wouldn't have blamed any of the diehards for shutting off that nonsense.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS [up from 25]
Overall record: 2-5
Streak: Won one
ESPN's Trent Dilfer showed a great highlight of Cam Newton zipping a sideline pass between two helpless defenders. It's scary that he's grasped the NFL game this quickly.
25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS [up from 26]
Overall record: 2-5
Streak: Won one
All the props should go to the Jaguars defence, which mugged the Ravens' receivers at the line of scrimmage throughout Monday night's game.
26. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS [down from 23]
Overall record: 2-4
Streak: Lost one
See Cleveland, only reverse the score.
27. DENVER BRONCOS [up from 28]
Overall record: 2-4
Streak: Won one
Let's splash some cold water on the Tim Tebow hysteria. In his first 11 drivers, Tebow went 4-14 for 40 yards, was sacked five times a produced zero points. In his last two, he completed 9-of-13 passes for 121 yards and one touchdown, rallying the Broncos from a 15-point deficit. In overtime, the Broncos began their final drive at the Miami 36. So coach John Fox decided to run the ball three times and ask Matt Prater, who had already missed two field goals, kick a 52-yarder for the win, rather than have Tebow drop back to pass. What does that tell you?
28. MINNESOTA VIKINGS [up from 29]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: Lost two
Despite the loss, rookie Christian Ponder wasn't out of place against the world champion Packers. Ponder was decisive on a lot of his throws and showed some guts standing in the pocket in the face of pressure.
29. ARIZONA CARDINALS [down from 27]
Overall record: 1-5
Streak: Lost five
So now the Cardinals have to travel to Baltimore and play a pissed off Ravens team. Good luck with that.
30. ST. LOUIS RAMS [up from 32]
Overall record: 0-6
Streak: Lost six
The Rams have scored 56 points after six games. That averages out to less than 10 points a contest. Again, when are you going to fix this receiving core, Steve Spagnuolo? Oh wait, you might not be here if this keeps up. Nevermind.
31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS [down from 30]
Overall record: 0-7
Streak: Lost seven
This goes beyond Peyton Manning. No one expected the Colts to beat New Orleans, but allowing 62 points in one game - to any team - is what get coaches fired. Jim Caldwell better start polishing up his resume.
32. MIAMI DOLPHINS [down from 31]
Overall record: 0-6
Streak: Lost six
If you listened very closely, you could hear Dolphin fans cheering when Broncos kicker Matt Prater nailed the game-winning boot. All for a man named Luck. Losing never felt this good.

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