2020 Week 7 Power Rankings
Every week is different in the NFL and just when you think you get a grip on each team and how they are faring this it all changes and everything gets mixed up again. The power rankings is a way of keeping track of the momentum of teams. Some of them like to keep you guessing as to how they are actually doing. The Browns look like contenders and everyone is convinced that the Bears are only pretending, Dallas are going to kick into life at some point right and Green Bay are a staple for the NFC Crown? Those are all opinions you would have likely held entering Week 6, but after an entertaining week, how do things now look in the Power Rankings entering Week 7 of the NFL season.
32. New York Jets - 0-6
The worst team in sports continues to get worse and worse. Things hit a new low for the New York Jets in Week 6 when they failed to register a single point against the Miami Dolphins. As the losses continue to mount the only question is when Adam Gase gets his marching orders as opposed to if. With the number one pick seeming all but assured already, the Jets should start looking at ways they can get their team ready for next year straight away. With a few QB hungry teams out there, trading away Sam Darnold could get more draft picks in place to start afresh next year.
31. Washington Football Team - 1-5
Washington now finds themselves in a five game losing streak and unable to get out of this rut. In an effort to try and break the trend, Ron Rivera went for two instead of sending the game to overtime by kicking the extra point. Why not, football is about winning and if you have a chance to win the game you should always take it right? It didn’t work out this time but fortune favours the brave and if it had gone the other way then it could have sparked Washington’s season into life. We will need to wait and see what the season holds for Washington, but in the NFC East you can’t count anyone out.
30. New York Giants - 1-5
The Giants have finally won a game of football in 2020. Against Washington the New York Giants were finally able to make some positive plays in the crunch moments of the match. Late on in the fourth quarter the Giants defense sacked Kyle Alle and scooped the ball for a go ahead touchdown. They then couldn’t stop the Washington Football Team marching down the field and scoring themselves. As fate would have it Ron Rivera would give the Giants defense another chance to show their worth.
Down by one with an extra point enough to tie the game and send it to overtime, “Riverboat Ron” decided to go for two and get Washington their second win of the season. Up stepped the Giants defense who stopped Washington and held on for their first win of the season. In the worst division in football the Giants could still end up with a home playoff game if they can build on this win.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-5
The myth of Minshew mania is finally getting found out. Gardner Minshew looks good in games when his team is already losing and has little to no shot at coming back. He is however far from the only problem in Duval County. Their defense has conceded 30 plus points during this five game losing streak. An inability to get the run game going and a defense that allowed themselves to be run all over to the tune of 180 yards doomed the Jaguars to another convincing defeat. When it comes time for the 2021 NFL Draft, the QB position needs to be looked at and they may be another team throwing their hat in the Trevor Lawrence camp.
28. Cincinnati Bengals - 1-4-1
Having shot out the blocks to a 21-0 lead, Bengals fans finally thought everything had clicked into place. Joe Burrow was the saviour they had waited on, AJ Green was back and the defense was making stops. Unfortunately they could only do it for just over one quarter of football. The Bengals then gave up 21 points in the second quarter alone. They didn’t let that get them down and held onto a 27-21 lead going into the fourth. The defense however couldn’t stop the Colts from finding the end zone and then a costly interception by Burrow on a potential game winning drive cost the Bengals the game.
Another strong performance from the rookie QB, coupled with AJ Green back in the action (8/96/0) looks promising for the Bengals. There are still a lot of improvements needed if the Bengals want to compete in the AFC North.
27. Minnesota Vikings - 1-5
After getting soundly thrashed by the previously winless Atlanta Falcons the Minnesota Vikings now find themselves rooted at the bottom of the NFC North. Four games behind both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The season is over for the Vikings and work should begin immediately at getting them ready for the 2021 season.
Kirk Cousins should never have been given a big extension in March and he is making that clear this season with two games where he has thrown three interceptions. It’s time to find a new QB and with one of the best prospects in college football coming out this year in Trevor Lawrence maybe it’s time to find a way to move on from Kirk Cousins.
26. Dallas Cowboys - 2-4
What has happened to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys? Elliot now has five fumbles in six games and both of them in this game ended up with the Cardinals scoring touchdowns. An offseason that had everyone tipping the Cowboys for a Super Bowl trip is long forgotten about, and if the Cowboys even reach the playoffs it will be solely down to the state of the NFC East as opposed to how good they actually are.
No Dak Prescott is a huge problem for the offense as Andy Dalton looks like a shell of the QB that he used to be. Elliott can’t keep hold of the ball, their defense can’t stop anyone and now the players are publicly calling out the coaches. Whatever has happened in Dallas needs sorted and quickly.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - 1-4-1
The Eagles were down and out in this one, staring at a 30-14 deficit late in the fourth quarter. Then all of a sudden it was 30-28 and the Eagles were lining up the two point attempt to tie the game.
An 85 yard drive that finished with a touchdown pass to Travis Fulgham followed by a quick three and out from Baltimore left the Eagles right back in the game. Then a defensive pass interference call on Marcus Peters set up another Eagles touchdown and before they knew what had happened the Ravens were on the bring of blowing this game. Up comes the Eagles two point attempt. Now they were already successful on two of these earlier so confidence was high. Unfortunately on the two point play that mattered, Carson Wentz got blown up and stopped by Matt Judon and L.J. Fort and the Eagles hopes of a comeback were shattered.
Despite having four losses on the season the Eagles are only one game out of the lead in the NFC East and still have a shot at the playoffs. They will need to do it in the continuing face of adversity as they lost yet more starters to injuries in this one. Both Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders look set to miss some time and Wentz will need to continue to make big plays with a backup cast.
24. Atlanta Falcons - 1-5
It always takes a while to get going but finally the Matt Ryan to Julio Jones hookup has arrived in the 2020 season. Ryan finished with 371 yards and four scores on his way to his best game of the season and Julio Jones joined in with 137 yards and his first two scores of the season. With rumours of a rebuild circulating its difficult to say how long the Ryan Jones connection will remain in Atlanta. Whilst it does this offense has the ability to put points up against anyone and make teams have to play their best to beat them.
A blowout victory over the Vikings is just what Atlanta fans wanted and they will be hoping for more against the Lions in Week 7.
23. Detroit Lions - 2-3
Being a Detroit fan you are rarely treated to wins let alone blowout wins. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars however, a blowout win is exactly what you got. With D’Andre Swift going off for 116 rushing yards and two scores and Kenny Gollady hauling in four receptions for 105 yards, the Lions offense looks in a good place. Matthew Stafford can sling the ball with the best of them and if his defense can keep them in the game then the Lions could amass a few more wins before this season is over.
22. Houston Texans - 1-5
An unfortunate loss in a divisional matchup against the Titans seems to have doomed the Texans to non-playoff football this year. Already four games behind the Titans and three behind the Colts is a tough mountain to climb. The Texans went toe to toe with the Titans and took them all the way to overtime.
Unfortunately, the Titans got the ball first and Deshaun Watson knew straight away that this one was going to slip by them. The inability to stop the run is a huge problem for the Texans and it is what cost them the defeat here. A matchup against the Green Bay Packers awaits but it is already time to start planning ahead for 2021.
21. Denver Broncos - 2-3
Two wins in a row for Denver and they have finally found a bit of positivity in a season that was doomed by injuries. In a matchup that nobody was expecting anything great to happen for Denver they surprised us all with six field goals. Enough to hand the Patriots their third loss of the season. Drew lock returned to the line-up and despite not being able to find the end zone, he marched his team down the field and put them in position for Brandon McManus to kick his team to glory. A strong defensive display that halted the Cam Newton led offense will be celebrated given the number of injuries this unit has had to put up with.
Stuck in a division with Kansas City and Las Vegas, the Denver Broncos have little to no shot at the playoffs this year. Nevertheless a win against New England is still a rare occurrence and the Broncos deserve the accolades that come with it.
20. Miami Dolphins - 3-3
Miami are above the New England Patriots in the AFC East and they have done it with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the wheel, what a time to be alive. Miami headed into their game against the Jets as the favourites, which doesn’t happen often, and they completely dominated. A strong defensive performance which held the Jets to zero points coupled with an offensive display that did all they had to, led Miami to their third win of the season. Miami fans were introduced to their QB of the future in the fourth quarter of this one. Tua Tagovailoa entered the game to loud cheering from everyone in the stadium, especially Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Brian Flores announced this week that it’s Tua time and he faces the Rams after a week to prepare.
19. Carolina Panthers - 3-3
A loss to the Bears showed that the Carolina offense is still heavily reliant on the return of Christian McCaffrey. Mike Davis has filled the role fantastically over the last three weeks but a costly fumble in this one deep in his own territory is a mistake that McCaffrey just doesn’t make. It wasn’t all Davis’ fault in this one, the offense struggled against a Bears pass rush that amassed four sacks and had Bridgewater scrambling all day. With us getting to the crunch part of the season the Panthers need McCaffrey back if they have any hope of staying competitive in their division.
18. Los Angeles Chargers - 1-4
A bye week will rarely move you up in the Power Rankings but in the case of the Chargers it came close to doing just that. Despite having a scintillating start to his NFL career Justin Herbert is still looking for that first win. A week off will have given the chance to get more work in and prepare for a visit from the Jaguars in Week 7. Joey Bosa who was nursing a few injuries in their Week 5 matchup will be thankful for the rest and will have his defense raring to go in Week 7. A chance to rest has made this team stronger in my opinion and the first win of young Herbert’s career is not far away.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - 3-2
Just after beating the reigning Super Bowl champions is probably not the time you want to be taking your bye week. Unfortunately for the Las Vegas Raiders that is exactly what they had to do preventhing them the chance to capitalise on their impressive victory. Next up for the Raiders is a matchup against the Tom Brady led Buccaneers. Wasn’t Brady tipped to replace Derek Carr before he settled in Tampa? The Raiders will be hoping that the bye week hasn’t slowed their momentum and they are ready to face off against another former NFL MVP.
16. San Francisco 49ers - 3-3
I can’t say enough how big a win this was for the San Francisco 49ers. After reaching the pinnacle of the season last year only to blow a lead and lose, left the 49ers with an incredible hangover that came to a head in an embarrassing defeat last week against the Dolphins. The 49ers were teetering on the edge of a lost season and a loss to division rivals the Rams would have had the sitting at 2-4 and rooted to the bottom of the division. As it stands they are still rooted to the bottom but now only one game out of second.
Jimmy Garoppolo welcomed the return of a fully healthy Deebo Samuel and an offensive line that stopped Aaron Donald and the Rams from getting any sacks. The 49ers still have a tough stretch of games to come but a win here will have provided them with some much needed confidence.
15. Chicago Bears - 5-1
Heading into Week 6 the Chicago Bears still found themselves being doubted and discarded despite having a 4-1 record. A Week 6 trip to an in form Carolina Panthers team provided the Bears with a chance to demonstrate that they deserve to be shown a bit of respect. An overpowering defense that forced turnovers and improved play on the offensive side of the ball led the Bears to their fifth win. The Bears have five wins and are leading the NFC North, yet I listened to a podcast that still had them as a definite for missing the playoffs.
A tough stretch awaits for the Bears with games against the Rams, Saints and Titans. But a team that knows how to win is difficult to beat and one thing the Bears have shown is that they can win games.
14. Indianapolis Colts - 4-2
Just a week after I was calling him old and past it Phillip Rivers put together a performance that he would have been happy with during his prime years. After going down 21-0 early in the second quarter, Rivers came out and threw for 235 yards on 14 completions and two scores and marched the Colts on the comeback trail. In a division with the undefeated Titans, the Colts need to keep stacking those wins if they have a hope of catching the division leaders. A bye week now and a chance to rest up before games against the Lions, Ravens and the Tennessee Titans.
13. Arizona Cardinals - 3-3
AT&T Stadium is Kyler Murray’s house. He is now 7-0 there as a starter, dating back to high school where he played there three times. His ability to run and pass the ball is second to none and with him in the backfield good defenses struggle to cope let alone bad defenses like the Dallas Cowboys. Finishing with another score through the air and on the ground, the Cowboys had no answers whatsoever for a dominant Cardinals performance. Ending the game with a total of 261 rushing yards on 35 carries put this game to bed. To go with that a Cardinals defense that got to the opposing QB for three sacks and two interceptions left the Cowboys with no chance at all.
A big divisional matchup against the Seahawks in Week 7 is a chance for the Cardinals to really measure how good they are.
12. New England Patriots - 2-3
Are we witnessing the end of the New England Patriots as we have come to know them? For the first time in 18 years the Patriots have a losing record through their first five games. I know a lot of people will blame it on the lack of practice due to COVID related issues but in the past haven’t Bill Belichick and his merry men always found a way. A terrible night on offense doomed the Patriots to an upset loss against the Denver Broncos despite their defense only allowing field goals.
Patriots fans have come accustomed to celebrations and knowing that they would at least win their division every year but things are different now. Tom Brady is gone and this sense of doubt and nervousness is a staple for every other supporter. So welcome Patriots fans to what it’s really like being a fan in the NFL.
11. Cleveland Browns - 4-2
Brought back to earth with a thud. Cleveland had started the season incredibly well and it has their fans talking of being contenders in the AFC North. To be in the chat of division winners however, you need to be able to beat teams in your division. Baltimore have already blown them away and now the Steelers have done the same (by almost the exact same scoreline). The Browns were missing players due to injury but teams that want to win still find a way to keep themselves in games.
The Browns were never in this one and as long as they are propping up their divisional rivals they can’t be considered as genuine AFC contenders.
10. New Orleans Saints - 3-2
After an unsteady start to the season the Saints went into their bye week with two straight wins and a sense of righting the ship was had in New Orleans. The return of Michael Thomas will be huge for this offense and in general for the team. A player of his ability can turn a game on its head and if the defense sees their offense back to their best it might just spur them on as well. Going forward lets hope Thomas decides to smack his opponents in the mouth instead of his own teammates.
9. Los Angeles Rams - 4-2
At what point does it begin to matter who a team gets their wins against. Los Angeles have four wins on the season and they have all come against teams in the NFC East. The 2-4 Cowboys, the 1-5 Giants, the 1-4-1 Eagles and the 1-5 Washington Football Team. In what was probably the easiest opening schedule ever for a team if the Rams had anything less than four wins it would have been a travesty.
However, when they have come up against stronger teams and teams that know how to win they have struggled and succumbed to defeat. I know you can only beat who is in front of you and it’s not the Rams fault they have played against the worst division in football but in order to make it to the playoffs they will need to beat teams of a higher calibre than the NFC East.
8. Buffalo Bills - 4-2
The Bills were 4-0 and cruising and everyone (myself included) had ruled the Patriots out of the division. All of a sudden the Bills have dropped two games against AFC rivals and have looked mediocre in the process. Josh Allen didn’t have a great game at all and after being well in the mix for the MVP he is slipping out of that. What is happening to this defense? They were tipped to be one of the best in the league before the start of the season.
You can’t blame the Bills for thinking the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs would try and pass all over them and maybe not fully prepare for the run game. But to give up 245 rushing yards to anyone is terrible, and if you can’t stop the run you won’t win many games. The Bills need to bounce back and quickly.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 4-2
The first quarter aside, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the best football that Tampa fans have seen in a long long time. 38 unanswered points against the formerly undefeated Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady showed who the greatest number 12 in the NFL still is.
An offensive line that gave up zero sacks allowed Brady to work in a pocket and dissect the Packers defense at will. Gronkowski had his best game as a Buccaneer finishing with 78 yards and his first TD since coming out of retirement. The Tampa defense is clicking and it is being led by a linebacker duo of Lavonte David and Devin White. They finished the game with 18 tackles, four QB hits and 2.5 sacks. The Buccaneers defense played perhaps their best game of the season and held one of the league’s best offenses to a mediocre ten points.
The Buccaneers bounced back in a big way and will be hoping to continue this type of performance next week against the Las Vegas Raiders.
6. Green Bay Packers - 5-1
Aaron Rodgers was cruising after getting his Packers out to a 10-0 lead against the Tom Brady led Buccaneers and then the wheels came off. Rodgers ran in a touchdown and celebrated with a rather risque hip movement which I’m sure he is regretting right now. The Buccaneers defense didn’t like it and punished him for the rest of the game. Until now the powerful Packers offensive line had kept a clean pocket for their number 12 to operate out of. They couldn’t do anything to stop the onslaught of Tampa in this one and Rodgers felt the repercussions of it in the form of five sacks and 13 QB hits.
Green Bay has shown they can put up big points against inferior teams but they need to find a way to get back into games if they find themselves down to better teams otherwise they won’t make it back to Tampa in February.
5. Baltimore Ravens - 5-1
Baltimore normally blows away inferior opponents and for most of this game they looked like they were going to do just that. A lack of concentration or sheer laziness almost had the Ravens being taken to overtime by the one win Eagles. Despite putting up 30 points the Ravens went three and out on five possessions in this one and that has never happened when Lamar Jackson has been at the helm. Week 7 is the perfect time for a bye week before facing the potentially 6-0 Pittsburgh Steelers.
4. Tennessee Titans - 5-0
Tennessee became the first team in NFL history to have a 350 yard passer and a 200 yard runsher. The offense with Derrick Henry and an accurate Tannehill is clicking on all cylinders, the only worry for the Titans is the defense gave up nearly 40 points to an under-performing Houston Texans. Derrick Henry is a monster and put up 264 yards and two touchdowns in a game where as soon as the overtime coin toss was finished everyone seemed to know what was going to happen, including Deshaun Watson (watch his reaction if you haven’t seen it).
Week 7 provides us with one of the games of the season on paper when the Steelers travel to play the Titans. A matchup that based on the start of the season could be a glimpse of football in January.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers - 5-0
So far in the 2020 season it has been the Pittsburgh offense that has led them to their undefeated record, unlike 2019. In this game the defense showed just how good they are and why this Steelers team should be considered a genuine contender for the AFC representatives in the Super Bowl. On the Browns very first possession Minkah Fitzpatrick set the tone with a pick-six and the defense didn’t let up. The pass rush of Pittsburgh pressured Baker Mayfield on 50% of his 22 dropbacks and finished the game with five sacks and 13 QB hits.
The offense didn’t look their best in this one but they found a way to put up 31 points of their own. With Ben Roethlisberger not turning the ball over and playing sensible football this is a team that everyone should be scared of facing.
2. Kansas City Chiefs - 5-1
The Chiefs always show you why you should never bet against them and never move them down your power rankings. In Patrick Mahomes you have the best quarterback in the league, in Tyreek Hill you have one of the best wide receivers, in Travis Kelce you have the best tight end in football and now you have Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. Kansas City came out against the Bills and dominated in the run game going for 245 yards on 46 carries. That was without new addition Le’Veon Bell.
Andy Reid dominated the Bills and in Bell he added another extremely dangerous option for Mahomes. The rich keep getting richer and the Chiefs keep getting better.
1. Seattle Seahawks - 5-0
Seattle have started the season exceptionally well on offense and it’s all down to one thing. They are letting Rusell Wilson play the type of football that he loves. He is dropping back in the pocket and making the plays with his arm. His deep ball is a thing of beauty and should not be stopped. He had to take a secondary role to Marshawn Lynch for a few seasons but now that he is the number one guy the Seahawks offense is looking great. A tough divisional match-up against the Arizona Cardinals awaits in Week 7 and a chance for the Seahawks to show their dominance in the NFC West.