Week 7 of NFL football officially ended with Pittsburgh’s 30-23 win over Houston on Monday, Oct 20, 2014. It was a weekend of records, as Peyton Manning became the NFL all-time leader in career TD passes. Dallas RB DeMarco Murray set a new record for 100 yard games to start a season, and maintained his pace for a 2000 yard season.
Significant Week 7 Injuries: 1) RB Fred Jackson BUF (groin) out 4 weeks. 2) RB CJ Spiller BUF (collarbone) out for season. 3) LB Brian Orakpo WAS (torn pectoral muscle) out for season. 4) LB Paul Posluszny JAX (torn pectoral muscle) out for season. 5) C Daniel Kilgore SF (ankle fracture) out for the season.
It was a tumultuous week from a Power Rankings standpoint. The Seattle Seahawks lost their second straight game, courtesy of trickery and gutsy playcalling by their opponent. The Chicago Bears remain winless at home after losing to Miami. The 49ers got hammered in Denver, and the San diego Chargers were beaten by Kansas City. The Dallas Cowboys remain strong, after a decisive victory over the New York Giants. The Jacksonville Jaguars finally got their first win of the season. That said, let’s take a look at how the Power Rankings look, after 7 full weeks of NFL Football.
1) Last Week # 1 – Dallas Cowboys (6-1): Thumped the Giants, the week after they thumped the Seahawks. This machine may grind to a halt, if DeMarco Murray ever does, but so far he hasn’t, so it’s all good in Big D. Congrats are in order for Murray, as he just became the first player in NFL history to open the season with seven straight 100 yard rushing games.
2) LW # 5 – Denver Broncos (5-1): Peyton Manning was masterful in his record-setting performance against San Francisco. For the record, his 509th TD pass set a new NFL record for TD passes in a career. The answer to what will become the most asked trivia questions; “Demaryius Thomas”, and “San Francisco 49ers”.
3) LW # 7 – Indianapolis Colts (5-2): Still flying a bit under the radar. Started out 0-2, but have strung together five straight wins. This week, rolled up over 500 uards of total offense while putting a beatdown on the increasingly fragile Cincinnati Bengals. The running game is finally coming around, and the defense is solid.
4) LW # 4 – Green Bay Packers (5-2): Who is the NFL MVP ? Dallas’ DeMarco Murray ? Houston’s JJ Watt ? Maybe, but whatever you do, do not leave Packers QB Aaron Rodgers out of the discussion. Rodgers has been a stud, in this current four-game win streak.
5) LW # 2 – San Diego Chargers (5-2): Maybe having a bit of midseason lull. Struggled a bit against Oakland, and then were beaten by Kansas City. Have a chance to make amends, in Thursday night contest against Denver – Peyton Manning vs Philip Rivers, on Prime time TV. Don’t panic, unless Chargers lose by more than 14 points.
6) LW # 8 – Philadelphia Eagles (5-1): Eagles are having a great season so far. It took a while for their best running back (LeSean McCoy) to join the party. McCoy rushed for only 192 yards in first 4 games, but has run for 230 yards in last two games. “Shady” is gonna be comin’ at ya’.
7) LW # 3 – Seattle Seahawks (3-3): Few predicted they would lose to Dallas in Week 6. None predicted they would trade Percy Harvin. None predicted they would lose to St. Louis in Week 7. Nobody seems to realize the offense would sputter without Golden Tate, Percy Harvin, and Sidney Rice. How can losing your top 3 WR’s, not have an affect ?
8) LW # 9 – Arizona Cardinals (5-1): Their only loss was to Denver. Head coach Bruce Arians continues to keep that stranglehold on the Coach-of-the-year honors. This is the most resilient team the NFL. They are just getting tougher and tougher as the season goes on.
9) LW # 11 – Baltimore Ravens (5-2): Very quietly reestablishing themselves as an elite NFL team. WR Steve Smith, Sr, is found gold, and they have legit big play capability on offense. The defense is not quite as fierce as it was in the Ray Lewis era, but still very solid. Baltimore’s +89 point differential, is the NFL’s best.
10) LW # 6 – San Francisco 49ers (4-3): Started the season slow, then got hot. Came crashing back to reality when they got crushed 42-17 on SNF against Denver. They now have a bye week, and there are rumors floating around, that DL Aldon Smith may have his suspension reduced, and he could play in Week 9. The bye week is perfectly timed, as they can regroup after the thrashing they took in Denver.
11) LW # 13 – New England Patriots (5-2): Last Tursday’s win over the Jets, shows what this team is made of. Despite having the ball for only 20 mins, and giving up over 200 rushingyards, they found a way to win. It will become some tough sledding, as they try to get thru the season without RB Stevan Ridley. For the time being, they are alone atop the AFC East division.
12) LW # 12 – Kansas City Chiefs (3-3): Got right with a big road win against the San Diego Chargers in Week 7. Next three games are against St. Louis, NY Jets, and Buffalo. If they sweep those three, they will be right back in the thick of the AFC Playoff race . . . If.
13) LW # 16 – Detroit Lions (5-2): Had a tougher time than anticipated, in win over New Orleans. Lions are going to have to start soundly beating lesser teams, if they are to push to the next level. They have only lost two games so far, but losses were to Carolina and Buffalo. Need to make a mental decision to become a top team.
14) LW # 18 – Miami Dolphins (3-3): Including the win over Oakland, the loss to Green Bay, and the win over Chicago, Miami has now strung together three solid games in a row. QB Ryan Tannehill seems to be figuring things out. Will face the Chargers and then the Lions, after this week’s confidence builder against Jacksonville.
15) LW # 10 – Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1): The talent is there, but the on-field leadership is not. Forget winning a playoff game, they first need to start winning important regular season games. This week’s 27-0 loss to Indy is inexcusable, as was the tie against Carolina in Week 6, and the 43-17 loss to New England in week 5. Don’t be surprised if they are steamrolled by Baltimore this weekend.
16) LW # 21 – Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3): Used an opportunistic 3 mins window in the 2nd Qtr on MNF, to score 3 TD’s and put away the Texans. The win may have saved their season. Next two games are against Indy, and Baltimore. We shall soon see what these Steelers are truly made of.
17) LW # 17 – Carolina Panthers (3-3-1): Much like the Cincinnati Bengals, the Panthers need to begin winning tough games. It’s okay to lose to a team the caliber of Green Bay, but not in the manner in which they did it. That their Week 6 game vs Cincy, wound up as a tie, was just a case of the Football Gods using a convenient moment to draw attention to two underachieving teams.
18) LW # 14 – Cleveland Browns (3-3): Of all the times to lay an egg, Cleveland had to do it against Jacksonville. QB Brian Hoyer was so bad, that whispers of “Johnny Manziel” have started. Hoyer will have two great shots at redemption, as next two games are against Oakland and Tampa Bay.
19 LW # 15 – Chicago Bears (3-4): Have yet to win at home this season. Week 7 home loss to Miami did not sit well with the Chicago faithful at Soldier field. After the game, WR Brandon Marshall criticized QB Jay Cutler in a roundabout way. Stay tuned for impending implosion. Next two games are on the road, against New England, and Green Bay. Next game at Soldier field may feature a Bears team which is no longer in playoff contention.
20) LW # 19 – Houston Texans (3-4): J.J. Watt is still the heart and soul. The loss to Pittsburgh may be more than the team can handle, as they feel the postseason becoming more and more of a longshot. The key is to hold it together until help arrives. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long term answer at QB, but he is all they have right now.
21) LW # 20 – Buffalo Bills (4-3): Clinging to 2nd place in the AFC East. QB Kyle Orton continues to get it done. This week’s win proved costly, as they lost their two-headed RB monster – C.J. Spiller is done for the season, with a broken collarbone, and Fred Jackson is out 4 weeks with a groin injury. The clock may have struck midnight.
22) LW # 26 – St Louis Rams (2-4): It took a lot of trickery for them to beat Seattle in Week 7. The other side of trickery, is the execution, and having the guts to make the call. Head coach Jeff Fisher gained a lot of respect from his players, with his Week 7 playcalling. It may be too late to salvage this season, but the future does not look too bad.
23) LW # 24 – New York Giants (3-4): Squashed by Philly in Week 6, and then fell victim to the Dallas juggernaut in Week 7. There is talent here, but too many things have gone awry. The injuries to Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings, exacerbated an already tenuous situation. It is gonna take a big turnaround, and a whole lotta luck, for them to make postseason play.
24) LW # 22 – Atlanta Falcons (2-5): Not scoring enough points, and allowing too many, leads to one very predictable result. Falcons have a -28 point differential for the season, and only Tampa Bay has allowed more points. The roster incudes Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and very little to show for it. In all fairness, the offensive line was decimated by injury.
25) LW # 23 – New Orleans Saints (2-4): Oh that NFC South. Saints are in almost the same boat as Atlanta. A porous defense, and an offenne which cannot put up points. The big offseason contract extension for TE/WR Jimmy Graham, has meant very little. The bright side is that, the NFC South division is so week, that 8-8 or 7-9 may just get it done.
26) LW # 25 – Minnesota Vikings (2-5): QB Teddy Bridgewater’s baptism by fire, continues. They need a running game in order to take the pressure off. Bridgewater looks like he should be a good NFL QB. Now it is time to build a team around him.
27) LW # 30 – Washington Redskins (2-5): Colt McCoy got his chance to play NFL football for the first time in a few seasons, and made the most of it. He will start again in Week 8, unless RG III is cleared to play. Once RG III starts again, the chants for Colt McCoy will begin. Kirk Cousins will laugh about it.
28) LW # 29 – Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6): Finally got their first win of the season, when they took advantage of a horrible outing by Brian Hoyer and beat Cleveland. They found a surprise weapon in RB Denard Robinson. Up next, is the battle of Florida, as they will take on the Miami Dolphins.
29) LW # 28 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5): The lights have gone out, on what was considered a dark horse playoff contender. There is a lot of work to do. The focus should now be on finishing with a better record than Jacksonville, so they won’t be the worst team in Florida.
30) LW # 31 – Tennessee Titans (2-5): It has been said that a team is only as good as it’s record says it is. That may be true, but it is a little hard to not feel something for this team who’s last two losses were by a total of just 3 points. They have defeated Kansas City, and Jacksonville this season. What exactly does that say about the team ?
31) LW # 32 – New York Jets (1-6): Only the Jets could lose a game in which they had 40:54 to 19:06 edge in time of possession, a 423 to 323 lead in overall yardage, and a 218-63 edge in rushing yardage. This is a recap of their recent 27-25 loss to New England. It’s really hard to wind up with 25 points too. Just think of the point combinations. Now, let’s see how Percy Harvin fits in.
32) LW # 27 – Oakland Raiders (0-6): Jacksonville finally won a game, now it’s up to the Raiders to finally get one in the win column. Winning is about attitude. The Raiders have come close, now they just need to punch it in. With only 92 total points scored, they are by far the lowest scoring team in the NFL.