B&T Power Rankings – Week 7
By Luke Sims
Welcome to the B&T Power Rankings. The place where we rank the teams on their record, front office actions, and overall craziness. Expect some arbitrary explanations, some in-depth analysis, and your fair share of surprises.
Turns out the Texans can be beaten. Browns vs Bengals rivalries die hard. The Minnesota Vikings may be shown as pretenders. It’s all coming into focus after a crazy NFL week.
Hate ‘em? Love ‘em? Agree? Disagree? Leave it in the comments.
#1 . Atlanta Falcons, 6-0: Despite looking vulnerable for a couple weeks, the Falcons find a way to win. This spot is theirs until they lose it.
#2 . New York Giants, 4-2: After putting the hurt on the Browns, the Giants come to San Francisco and teach them why they won the Super Bowl this past year. Holding the Niners to three points is crazy good. This team may just be crazy good too.
#3 . Baltimore Ravens, 5-1: You’ve got to respect winning. Even with the high-powered offense I don’t think this team can win the championship without Ray Lewis. He’s more than just an all time great linebacker – he is this team. As good as Joe Flacco is, he isn’t ready to fill Lewis’ shoes just yet.
#4  . Houston Texans, 5-1: So much for it being a matter of how the Texans win each week. The defense couldn’t do anything to stop the Packers this week. While J.J. Watt had another good game, this team really struggled for the first time all season.
#5 . New England Patriots, 3-3: This team is more up and down than a roller coaster. Everyone thought the bumps were out of the way, but then came the Seahawks. The Seahawks! The Pats need to focus and beat down the Jets next week.
#6 . Green Bay Packers, 3-3: After losing to the Colts the Packers suddenly returned to form. Aaron Rodgers put it all together again in a six touchdown performance that will be fondly remembered for a long time. It’s even better since it came agains the unbeaten Texans. The Pack showed why they’ve been a contender since Rodgers took over the helm. If they can continue to pick apart elite defenses then there is little to stop them.
#7 . Chicago Bears, 4-1: By virtue of the sudden return of the Packers the Bears slip. I still think this division could be theirs, they’ll have to jump one slightly larger hurdle now though.
#8 . San Francisco 49ers, 4-2: After putting up 79 points the previous two weeks, the Niners threw up only three against the Giants. They’ll be asking themselves what happened all week.
#9 . Denver Broncos, 3-3: Peyton Manning showed that he is the man in Denver and can still get it done. If Eric Decker hadn’t tripped over grass Manning’s stats would have looked even better in this come from behind win over the Chargers.
#10 . Arizona Cardinals, 4-2: So much for having a shot in the big leagues. The Cards may continue sinking behind some horrendous o-line play that dictates how the entire team does. Defense wins championships, but the offense gets you there. Right now the Cards are struggling with the offene part.
#11 . Minnesota Vikings, 4-2: Will we forever remember the 2012 Vikings as the team that let a quarterback set the record for longest scramble? Perhaps. I still think they can get it done against most teams though.
#12 . Washington Redskins, 3-3: Suddenly people want to start talking about MVP and RGIII. I think this team would be radically worse without him, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Still, his performance was really impressive on Sunday.
#13 . Seattle Seahawks, 4-2: Quietly sitting at 4-2 the Seahawks have become a major nuisance for the better teams and have become difficult to beat for the weaker teams. Russell Wilson could be putting it all together.
#14 . Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-3: Maybe the bye week really did help the Bucs get back into form and finally capitalize on all the talent they have on the roster. I liked what I saw and I think they can do it again. This roster is deep and has some serious weapons, other teams should take notice.
#15 . Cincinnati Bengals, 3-3: If the Bengals continue to lose to teams like the Browns then this could turn into a long season fast. Andy Dalton threw way too much in this game. Fortunately for the Bengals, I think that the Browns game is more the result of rivalry than actual talent.
#16 . Dallas Cowboys, 2-3: Losing to the Ravens isn’t a bad thing, the team is very good. Losing to a Ravens defense when your offense clicks like the Cowboys’ did is kind of embarrassing.
#17 . Miami Dolphins, 3-3: They won, but they could very easily have lost. Besides that they failed to get the ball in Brian Hartline’s hands. This team is still learning behind a rookie quarterback but they have some very good talent. I want to see more from them.
#18 . Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-3: Turns out the Steelers aren’t as great as we all think due to their vaunted history. This is the worst five game start in head coach Mike Tomlin’s career. You can’t discount any team with Big Ben on it, but maybe there isn’t enough around him to get it done.
#19 . Detroit Lions, 2-3: Beating the Eagles isn’t what it once was. The offense was not spectacular against a defense that just removed its coordinator. This team has faded from its short-live glory of 2011. If they can learn how to be consistent then the entire season could change.
#20 . St. Louis Rams, 3-3: When you aren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse you need to make sure you can score points when you get in range. Unfortunately for the Rams their kicker picked a bad time to have a breakdown missing three field goals (any of which would have won the game).
#21 . New Orleans Saints, 1-4: If any team can turn it around after the bye week, it’s the Saints. We’ll have to see if they can keep the momentum after beating the Chargers before entering the bye.
#22 . San Diego Chargers, 3-3: The surprising early success of the Chargers is finally coming to an end. The team let a 24 point lead disappear in the second half against the Broncos. All of Philip Rivers’ four interceptions are balls that he shouldn’t have let go in the first place.
#23 . New York Jets, 3-3: For a team that is sitting at .500 these guys just don’t look very good. Beating down the Colts is bigger than it looks. That said, the Jets are pretty similar in terms of talent and on-field production to the Colts. That says a lot about a team that is supposed to be a playoff contender each year.
#24 . Philadelphia Eagles, 3-3: Quick question, how many teams end up with winning records after firing their defensive coordinator six games in?
#25 . Buffalo Bills, 3-3: That’s a big win for the Bills. People thought the Cards were close to impossible to beat a couple weeks ago. While the O-line for Arizona will be scorned for a while maybe there is something to be said about the talent on the Bills’ defensive side right about now.
#26 . Tennessee Titans, 2-4: The Titans have toppled a giant, and on the national stage too. They need to do that multiple times this year. They’ve now beaten two quality opponents but haven’t been able to win when they are drastically overmatched or play down to the same level as the opposition.
#27 . Carolina Panthers, 1-4: The Panthers desperately need to get things back on track. Cam Newton is having a sophomore slump unlike we’ve seen from spectacular young QBs in a while. He needs to rebound and reignite an offense that was something electrifying last year.
#28. Indianapolis Colts, 2-4: After beating the Packers this team was pounded back to earth by the New York Jets of all teams. They showed that they have some serious defensive weaknesses that need to be fixed if they hope to be competitive each week.
#29 . Cleveland Browns, 1-5: It’s always nice to know that some rivalries will never die. The Browns were able to dig deep to beat in-state rival Cincinnati. I liked what I saw, but I doubt the team can do it again.
#30 . Oakland Raiders, 1-4: They played hard but still lost to the Falcons. This team needs to know how to find that next level to come up with the big wins. They may not need a next level to beat the struggling Jaguars when they come to town this week though.
#31 . Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-4: LB Daryl Smith could be coming back and that will be huge. That said, this team needs to show that it can do work after taking the week for some serious self-evaluation. If they lose to the Raiders it will become a lot harder for the Jags to gain ground even against the worst of teams.
#32 . Kansas City Chiefs, 1-5: This team just made the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like a high caliber offense. The Bucs have potential, but mostly against teams like the Chiefs.