goTitans.com NFL Power Rankings: Week 7
By David Barbour
Posted October 25th, 2006
Chicago Bears (6-0)
Last Week: 1st
After barely beating an Arizona Cardinals team that went on to lose to the hapless Oakland Raiders, the Bears probably needed an extra week to recover and to prepare for the juggernaut that is the San Francisco 49ers.
Denver Broncos (5-1)
Last Week: 4th
Denverâ€™s defense continues to play impressively, this time basically shutting down the Clevelandâ€™s offense. The defense only allowed the Browns to convert one third-down opportunity and held the Browns to 3.2 yards per offensive play. As for Jake Plummer, even though he threw two interceptions, one of which led to a Browns touchdown, heâ€™s only cost the Broncos one game this season so thereâ€™s no reason to take him out of the starting lineup yet.
New England Patriots (5-1)
Last Week: 5th
Even though the Patriots only out-gained the Bills by 9 yards, they won the field position battle, had a higher third-down conversion rate, and scored on all three of their red zone possessions. And in most games, thatâ€™s all youâ€™ll need for a victory.
Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
Last Week: 3rd
Well, the Colts passing game certainly got back on track against the Redskins. Peyton Manning threw for 342 passing yards and four touchdowns, averaging 9.8 yards per pass play. Also, Joseph Addai continues to outperform Dominic Rhodes even though he still has to split carries almost evenly, the fact of which is becoming incomprehensible.
San Diego Chargers (4-2)
Last Week: 2nd
Entering the season, linebacker depth was a strength of the Chargers, but now with the injury to Shaun Phillips and the suspension of Shawne Merriman, it looks like they didnâ€™t have quite enough depth at the position. Giving up 132 rushing yards to Larry Johnson canâ€™t help the defense feel too confident, either.
New Orleans Saints (5-1)
Last Week: 6th
Only atop the NFC South by one game, keeping their success going against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday will be very important. Of course, with both teams coming off a bye, the edge will go to the best-coached team and right now Iâ€™m thinking that is the one coached by Sean Payton.
St. Louis Rams (4-2)
Last Week: 9th
Yes, the Rams have lost two intra-division games already, but with the injury to Matt Hasselbeck who will be out anywhere from 2-4 weeks, the chance for the Rams to take over the NFC West division certainly looks promising.
New York Giants (4-2)
Last Week: 12th
Thank goodness for the Cowboys miscues be it by interception or on downs or allowing themselves to be tackled in the end zone. Of the 36 points the Giants scored, 26 were a result of the Cowboys being careless when they did have the ball.
Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
Last Week: 14th
Jim Fassel has been fired, Steve McNair may play against the Saints, and Brian Billick will be calling all of the plays. The question should be asked, though. If Billick is such an offensive genius, why wasnâ€™t he doing the play-calling already? On the bright side, he still has a great defense he can rely on for when his offense inevitably fails to produce substantial results, but will it be enough against the surprisingly good Saints?
Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
Last Week: 16th
In a game where turnovers played such an important part of the game, the Falcons came out on top of that battle. Not only did the Falcons score 21 points off of three Pittsburgh fumbles, but each of those three fumbles occurred deep in Pittsburghâ€™s territory. Of course, winning the overtime coin toss helped in the victory, too.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2)
Last Week: 18th
Knocking Seattleâ€™s starting quarterback certainly did hurt the Vikings in their quest for a victory. Neither did the 5.8 yards per rushing play and the touchdown pass from a running back or the fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. All in a dayâ€™s work for the Vikings, who win in the oddest ways
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
Last Week: 15th
Maybe we became too excited about the Bengals on the offensive side of the ball last year because they have certainly not been amazing this year. Their 4.8 yard per offensive play against the Panthers as evidence of this, even though they did manage to win the game in the end, thanks to picking off a Delhomme pass in the end zone.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)
Last Week: 8th
Funny how things work out sometimes. The Eagles offense was infinitely more productive than the Buccaneers, but when two interceptions led directly to two touchdowns, it doesnâ€™t really matter how poorly the opponent plays. One has to wonder how losing three games all on the last possession of the game will weigh on the playersâ€™ minds in the future.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
Last Week: 10th
I certainly underestimated the Houston Texans. Maybe the Jaguars did, too. That would explain why they only averaged 4.1 yards per offensive play and fumbled the ball twice, leading to two Texans touchdowns. At least, they scored a touchdown on their one red zone possession.
Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
Last Week: 13th
Tony Romo did not have a stellar game in the second half, but at least he is something new. With Bledsoe, you know what you are getting and itâ€™s not a great quarterback, but with Romo at least there is a mystery to him that is alluring. Also, not too much can be read into Romoâ€™s interceptions since he was playing from behind and was probably forcing throws to lead the Cowboys back quickly. He should at least get another game to see what he can do.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
Last Week: 7th
Seneca Wallace wanted to be an NFL quarterback, eschewing the chance to get more time on the field as a wide receiver where he would arguably be more effective. Well, after watching him throw two interceptions, the Seahawks hope he will play better in the coming weeks or fall victim to the Super Bowl runner-up curse.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)
Last Week: 20th
The Chiefs are not exactly the most consistent team ever, but after getting blown out by the Steelers, they bounced back in a long way against the San Diego Chargers, besting the Chargers in average yards per offensive play and getting the only game-winning field goal in the contest.
New York Jets (4-3)
Last Week: 19th
Donâ€™t look now, but the Jets might just have a rushing game to go along with their efficient quarterback named Chad Pennington. However, even though the Jets were efficient on offense so were the Lions. The only two advantages the Jets had were in third-down efficiency and red zone efficiency. Maybe next week they will have a defense to go along with their rushing and pushing games.
Carolina Panthers (4-3)
Last Week: 11th
Despite scoring fourteen points, the Panthers only scored on one of their two red zone possessions. The other possession ended with a Jake Delhomme interception, basically ending any chance of a Panthers victory or climbing up in the NFC South standings. There must be some positive correlation between quarterbacks named Jake and interceptions.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4)
Last Week: 17th
Except for losing the turnover and field position battles, the Steelers played a game they can be proud of. They averaged 7.4 yards per offensive play, even though their rushing game was non-existent, and also scored 4 touchdowns on their 5 red zone possessions. Iâ€™m sure knowing that will make up for their 2-game deficit in the AFC North.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
Last Week: 23rd
The Buccaneers keep squeaking by teams when they win. This time it was thanks to an improbable 62-yard field goal by Matt Bryant. They still need to, maybe, play better offense in the long run, though. Averaging only 3.4 yards per offensive play wonâ€™t cut it every week.
Houston Texans (2-4)
Last Week: 30th
David Carr played impressively against a division foe, throwing for two touchdowns and 6.4 yards per pass play. As long as the defense holds the opponent to 4.1 yards per offensive play, maybe the Texans will win some more games before the season is over.
Green Bay Packers (2-4)
Last Week: 31st
Millions of fans were let down as Brett Favre failed to throw an interception against the Dolphins. Instead, he elected to throw two touchdowns and not wreck the Packersâ€™ chances of winning the game. How unfortunate for George Blanda, who is probably tied of being the NFLâ€™s career interception leader.
Cleveland Browns (1-5)
Last Week: 22nd
Maybe the complaints of Kellen Winslow worked because Cleveland fired their offensive coordinator, Maurice Carthon. Even so, there is no guarantee the Browns will actually improve much offensively this season. Charlie Frye is still a young quarterback and the important offensive pieces of the team simply havenâ€™t been together long enough.
Detroit Lions (1-6)
Last Week: 25th
The Lions canâ€™t seem to buy a break. They play horribly and they lose. They donâ€™t play horribly offensively and they still lose. I wonder what would happen if they played defense while not playing horribly offensively. It looks like we may never find out.
Miami Dolphins (1-6)
Last Week: 24th
Would it kill the Dolphins to play a quarterback who isnâ€™t turnover-prone? Such a quarterback has to be out there for the taking. You know when Charles Woodson is returning interceptions for touchdowns, your days as an NFL quarterback are numbered. Iâ€™m talking to you Joey Harrington.
Tennessee Titans (1-5)
Last Week: 27th
This week, Vince Young will be playing against his hometown team who passed him over in the NFL draft. Not that that is really a very compelling reason to watch, but itâ€™s the only one I can come up with.
Washington Redskins (2-5)
Last Week: 28th
Mark Brunell did not completely embarrass himself against the Colts, which Iâ€™m sure was a huge relief to Joe Gibbs. Sadly, the same thing cannot be said about the Redskins secondary who let Peyton Manning pass all over them.
Buffalo Bills (2-5)
Last Week: 26th
The Bills offense should be forced to write on the blackboard 100 times that they will convert their third-down opportunities. It probably wonâ€™t work, but at least it will give off the impression that they are working on it.
Oakland Raiders (1-5)
Last Week: 32nd
With their win, the Raiders ruined any chance of NFL viewers being able to see a team go 0-16 this year. Thanks a lot, Oakland. Way to actually play sort of like a real NFL franchise.
Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
Last Week: 21st
These last two weeks for the Arizona Cardinals could be the epitome of a manic-depressive disorder. On the one hand, they had to feel relatively high after barely losing to the best team in the league even though they should have won. Then again, the team hit a new low against losing to the Oakland Raiders and may very well be thinking of committing suicide
San Francisco 49ers (2-4)
Last Week: 29th
Having to go to Soldier Field is probably not what the struggling 49ers need to get on the right track, but didnâ€™t Alex Smith dissect them in preseason? That has to count for something, right?