Week Seven Rankings

nfl

This may or may not be the largest shakeup we’ve yet to see this season whereas the rankings I’ve been formulaic in writing are concerned. The top few teams and the bottom few are largely unchanged save for a few shifts, but the middle domain is really where all hell has broken loose. Anyway, let’s get the show on the road and see where it takes us.

The Cream of the Crop:

  1. Minnesota Vikings- For the second consecutive week the Vikings top the league rankings. They may have had a Bye Week this week but that doesn’t change the fact that they are not only undefeated but also have so far played well enough to still rank higher than teams like the Patriots. +/- 5-0
  2. New England Patriots- Like the Vikings who still dominate this list, the New England Patriots enter the week ranked the same as last week. Not much has changed here and now with Brady back and two tests already passed with flying colors things are looking good for the Pats. Not to mention they have a healthy Gronk and other talent at receiving positions as well. +/- 5-1
  3. Dallas Cowboys- Thanks to the teams above either losing games that they really shouldn’t have or just plain losing in general, the Boys find themselves ascending the rankings for another week. If you ever doubted they were for real- don’t. The supposedly good run-stopping defense the Packers boasted was completely ineffective as E.E. continued his trend of big games and big numbers. +3 5-1
  4. Seattle Seahawks- This week the Hawks and their Falcon counterparts switched placed in terms of who was ranked higher than the other. That’s largely due to the Hawks defeating the Falcons off of a field goal and winning by two. Comeback complete. Honestly, although they had some missed opportunities which were borderline tragic, the pure determination of Russel Wilson to win carried this team to victory. +4 4-1
  5. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons lost the other day and yet they’re moving up the chains based upon strength of play against a formidable opponent. They had some miscommunication and mistakes no doubt, even going so far as to potentially lose them the game bad call or no. However, at the end of the night the comeback king that is DangeRuss stole their show and thunder. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and co shouldn’t feel too bad though because they’re surely only going to improve. +2 4-2
  6. Buffalo Bills- After a largely ineffectual 0-2 start the Bills are really starting to roll now. Or at least to roll over other teams it seems. They’ve won four straight games and the latest opponent to be felled was the 49ers in a blowout 45-16 game. And if you thought the Bills had trouble keeping the score up, they went full steam ahead and scored another 21 points in the fourth quarter alone. Now compare that to the fact those points alone would’ve still won the game by five. +4 4-2
  7. Arizona Cardinals- I feel somewhat leery about placing Arizona this high based upon their week to week consistency issues but they deserved it after a 28-3 win against the Jets. The defense made plays and came up big and the offense responded in kind. Time will only tell if they’re back to a semblance of their old selves and their record is certainly not good, but things are improving for now. +5 3-3
  8. Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles lost their second game for the second consecutive week. Don’t start worrying yet Eagles fans, because Carson Wentz still plays with poise and has strong showings. But they need to be better about being clutch of third downs when balls are catchable and they need to be better about scoring when playing teams that theoretically should be inferior. -3 3-2
  9. Washington Redskins- Kirk Cousins and the Skins have got it. They’re slowly but surely pushing their way up the rankings week to week off of some close wins against talented opponents. This week’s victim was Philadelphia who only scored in the second and fourth quarters. With another important divisional victory the Skins are definitely in a good place right now. +5 4-2
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers- Oh how the mighty have fallen. I think this is enough of a punishing drop for the Steelers, especially considering they are genuinely better than the teams I’m going to list below them and so dropping them any further wouldn’t make much sense. But how could you flop so badly and let Miami of all teams trounce you so thoroughly? And then play your already hurt starting QB to boot which means he’s now going to miss a key matchup against New England and potentially another game after that? -7 4-2

The Second-Tier Kings:

  1. Denver Broncos- Fresh off of a fifth week loss to Atlanta- a great team, the Broncos fell apart against San Diego- a troubled team. Their record is still respectable however they’re starting to look shakier as the weeks go on. The offensive line is questionable at times and they miss opportunities as well. They dropped an important divisional game that could come back to snub them later. -7 4-2
  2. Green Bay Packers- The Pack continues to drop and once again it is due to poor play by the offense. Aaron Rodgers is clearly going through some sort of micro-slump and that’s far from the end of their troubles. Couple an ineffective offense with a defense that couldn’t stop the run against the talent the Cowboys have this year and you’ve got a team in danger of eeking out a 8-8 year. -3 3-2
  3. Oakland Raiders- It took some time but Derek Carr finally had a rough day that he couldn’t weasel through and pull out a W on. The Raiders scored ten points in the first half and then never scored again. What looked like a close 13-10 game at halftime turned into a 26-10 loss for a team that couldn’t get it together on either side of the ball in the second half. And the Chiefs took advantage of the miscommunication. -2 4-2
  4. New York Giants- I’m hesitant to say it but Sunday’s win over the Ravens was somewhat of a good win. Meaning they secured the W and OBJ played well among other things I suppose. It was another close game for the Giants and another tough break for the Ravens. So those two trends at least look to continue. +2 3-3
  5. Kansas City Chiefs- These guys constantly come off of their Bye Week and manage to get business done. They went in on a low note and came out of it with heads held high, rolling to a victory over the talented Raiders. They’re beginning to get a little bit of balance back and starting to look like a familiar team again. Let’s see if they can keep it up. +2 3-2
  6. Detroit Lions- Congratulations to the Lions on managing to secure a tough victory over a team that kept pace with them all day long. Sure, both the Rams and Lions are now both at an even 3-3 but don’t let that fool you. If Matt Stafford and his crew can continue to win the games they face like this, they’ve got a chance at a possible wild card bid maybe. +4 3-3
  7. Cincinnati Bengals- For those of you hoping to see a tough game from the Bengals in their showing against New England- sorry. True, the Bengals have had a tough schedule for this half of the season and things do look to get easier from here on out, but they’ve still had some winnable matchups this one notwithstanding. What looked close going into halftime turned into a relatively unanswered twenty-five point deluge in the second half. -4 2-4
  8. Baltimore Ravens- After going 3-0 the Ravens have subsequently gone 0-3 over the previous weeks. If that isn’t telling enough then I don’t know what is. They are a team who manages to win and lose while keeping it close. It largely boils down to who plays better in the final minutes of games and they’ve been on the losing end for several weeks now and need to be able to hold steady leads if they want to ever reverse the roles again. -3 3-3
  9. Tennessee Titans- Sorry Titans, I know you all won but it was the Browns and so that doesn’t really count when compared to how everyone else fared above you in the rankings. Plus it was only a two-point victory as the Browns managed to get close but still not secure a win for the sixth week in a row. Other than that, props to Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray on another strong week. -1 3-3
  10. Houston Texans- The Texans are moving up this week solely because of their uncharacteristically clutch overtime performance against a divisional rival. Besides that they only continued to show me that they are easily the most flawed team with a winning record out there right now. They may have won four games but it sure doesn’t look like it. +1 4-2

No-Clutch Zone:

  1. Los Angeles Rams- Last week I said the Rams needed to push through and win those winnable games and this week they dropped the ball yet again, this time to the Detroit Lions. Now they sit at a precarious 3-3 and could fall off and end the year on another sour losing season or could pick themselves back up and truck on to a respectable finish at the least. Ball is in your court LA. -2 3-3
  2. New Orleans Saints- The Saints are one of the few teams staying put in the rankings this week and it comes off of a Drew Brees heavy performance and victory over the failing Panthers. It was yet another much-needed win and a good finish against a divisional rival in a close matchup. +/- 2-3
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Congratulations to the Jags for securing at least two victories on the year now. They could’ve and should’ve been so much better than they have been but I imagine they’ll take any scrappy victories they can get right now regardless. They scored all seventeen of their points in a fourth quarter comeback against a Bears team that absolutely fell apart on defense. +2 2-3
  4. San Diego Chargers- For the first time in who knows how many weeks, the Chargers are moving from their increasingly stagnant position on the rankings here. They managed to secure a very nice divisional victory in handing the Broncos their second consecutive loss and in their upset victory against them. Let’s see how they fare from here on out. +4 2-4
  5. Indianapolis Colts- Another week and another close one for the Colts who dropped the game in overtime to the Texans in their divisional matchup. It was a game that was theirs to lose and somehow they managed to lose it. They didn’t play poorly per se but they still came up short. -1 2-4
  6. Miami Dolphins- Miami somehow came up in a big way and shocked pretty much everyone, especially the Steelers I would imagine. They rolled to a 30-15 win over Pittsburgh, hurt Big Ben, and had almost five hundred yards on the day (over two hundred of which was rushing by one man). Have a day? +4 2-4
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Seeing as nobody was really better that actually did play this week, I suppose Tampa Bay can rest easy knowing they’ve retained at least the same spot for another week. They had a Bye Week and only time will tell if it has allowed them to straighten things out. +/- 2-3
  8. Carolina Panthers- Okay, so it’s officially time to really worry if you’re a Panthers fan. Because this team looks like it is honestly trying to have the biggest Super Bowl hangover of all time. They’re guaranteed at least a 1-15 season and as of right now that could very well be possible. We’ve seen them turn rags to riches and even make the playoffs by being clutch and ending the season with a 7-8-1 record, but even that looks difficult if they can’t win another game soon. -5 1-5
  9. San Fransisco 49ers- Surprisingly the 49ers stayed put this week even with the absolute demolition of their hopes and dreams by the Bills in a runaway 45-16 game. The reason for this is solely because the Jets, Bears, and Browns all played even worse or lost their sixth consecutive game (in the Browns case considering they’ve got promise, they just can’t seem to capitalize on it). +/- 1-5
  10. New York Jets- For a team that just barely missed the playoffs last year the Jets are not playing good or even the same this year. They’ve had one strong(ish) game and the others have been absolutely painful to watch even though I’m not a fan. Monday night’s blowout by Arizona was just another game in a long string of losses that hurt to watch. The Quarterback situation needs to be addressed because the talent is there elsewhere even if the other positions have their own flaws. -4 1-5

The Dull:

  1. Chicago Bears- Another week, another close loss for the Bears. It must be heartbreak city whenever and wherever this team plays, because they seem to want to lose. Ironically even more than the 0-6 Browns at this rate, seeing as they stay in games and only lose late instead of rolling over and giving up when they actually have a lead. Do better Chicago- you let the Jags score all of their points in the fourth quarter and complete their comeback. +/- 1-5
  2. Cleveland Browns- Not all teams in Cleveland are playing poorly right now but this one certainly is. Actually, scratch that- they aren’t playing poorly but then they still aren’t winning games either. Their stats line may be perfectly acceptable week to week but they need to convert that to wins soon if they want to make it to 4-12 on the season. +/- 0-6
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millie schmidt writes... with cats

millie schmidt writes...

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