Oct 17, 2017
by Chase Gage
In collaboration with Devon Newton
WEEK 7 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1. Philadelphia Eagles (+2)
Last Week: 3
Philadelphia is now the best team in football. It was close last week, as they were atop along with the Chiefs and Packers, but thanks to an injury and an ugly loss, the clear choice for the top spot is now the Eagles. Crazy right? Carson Wentz may be a sleeper in the MVP race because if the Eagles keep soaring the way they are (okay that was a dumb pun), he will walk home with the award at the end of the year. This team is a legitimate title contender for the first time since, well, pretty much ever.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
Last Week: 1
Kansas City should still be considered a true contender as well as the best team in the AFC. The Steelers just happen to be their kryptonite. Since the start of last season, the Chiefs are 17-3 against everyone in the NFL and 0-3 against the Steelers. This should be a little concerning if you’re a Chiefs fan, because the road to the Super Bowl may very well go through Pittsburg (even if you get to play them at home).
3. Carolina Panthers (+2)
Last Week: 5
How do you lose a game and move up two spots in the power rankings? Bias by the author, a notorious Panthers fan? Possibly. Playing awful and still taking the top-ranked team down to the wire? The other team you lost to going off and proving they’re a real threat that just had a slow start? All the good teams ahead of them losing? Maybe a combination of all three.
The Panthers couldn’t run the ball to save their life against the Eagles, and it cost them dearly. The offense had to rely too much on the arm of Cam Newton, which resulted in three interceptions. That’s not good, but the fact that they still had a chance to win the game despite all their troubles (against the best team in football) is enough to convince me that they’re deserving of this spot. Also, the Falcons and Packers aren’t as good as we thought, so there was a vacuum at the top. More on those teams later.
4. Los Angeles Rams (+7)
Last Week: 11
Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that the Rams would be, at any point in the season, considered a top-five team? Here at SlingShot Sports, half of our staff claims the Rams as their favorite team and yet we still did not see this coming. Jared Goff is becoming a great game-manager type quarterback and Todd Gurley is becoming one of the best running backs in football. They have one of the best offenses in the NFL and their defense is no laughing matter. They currently sit at 4-2 atop the NFC West standings. They should be considered the favorites to win the division until further notice.
5. Pittsburg Steelers (+7)
Last Week: 12
Some may make the case that the Steelers should be higher because they beat the number-one team. Well, that is not quite the case. I moved them up seven spots (which is plenty), but could not make myself move them up anymore for a few reasons:
- They almost lost to the Browns (0-6)
- They lost to the Bears (2-4)
- They got blown out by the Jaguars and Big Ben threw five interceptions
- They needed a miracle play by Antonio Brown to beat the Chiefs
Are they a team with some of the best players of our current generation? Yes, of course. Are they a real threat to win the Super Bowl? Maybe. If they can get it together, this is a team that can compete with anyone. They just don’t have it together yet.
6. Minnesota Vikings (+11)
Last Week: 18
The biggest jump of the week because, well, who else was going to go here? I’m definitely not putting the Patriots here after they barely survived the Jets thanks to a controversial call that cost New York a touchdown and gave New England the ball instead.
The Vikings are down Dalvin Cook, Sam Bradford, Stefon Diggs and Teddy Bridgewater, yet they’re in first place in the NFC North, one of the toughest divisions in football. They got some help when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, but when all of your stars are injured, that’s just called leveling the playing field. The Minnesota defense is elite and good enough to carry their lackluster offense all the way to the playoffs.
7. New England (+1)
Last Week: 8
Ugh. New England is garbage and I hate that I have to rank them this high. But I can’t just not put them in the top-ten. They’re 4-2 with losses to the teams I have ranked 2nd and 3rd on this list, so I’ll give them that. They also almost lost to the Texans, Buccaneers, and Jets, so I’m underwhelmingly impressed by them. Their defense is worse than Cleveland’s and shouldn’t even be considered a defense because a defense is supposed to defend. They do not.
Tom Brady is the greatest football player to ever live. And as long as he is the quarterback, they will have a chance (until he starts to decline which will happen sooner than later). However, this is by far the worst team Brady has played for thanks to numerous injuries and the lack of one side of the ball.
8. Seattle Seahawks (+1)
Last Week: 9
The Seahawks benefitted from a bye week and every other team in the league being awful. We’re still not sure how good this team is, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.
9. Buffalo Bills (+5)
Last Week: 14
Another team that benefitted from a bye, the Bills made a big jump this week. Their loss to the Panthers doesn’t look as bad as it once did, but their wins over Atlanta and Denver don’t look as good as they used to. Nonetheless, when teams that you beat move down, you jump them. Simple enough, right?
10. Washington Redskins (-)
Last Week: 10
They almost blew it against the 49ers, but pretty much everyone ‘better’ than them got beat, so they’re more or less in the same spot. The Redskins could be a second playoff team in the NFC East if the cards fall in the right places. With the Packers likely out, that opens up a playoff spot.
11. Green Bay Packers (-9)
Las Week: 2
The Packers were the hardest team to pin down. They’re 4-2, yes. But they lost Aaron Rodgers. Will they win a few more games? Sure, it’s likely. But they’re no longer competitors in the NFC North, let alone the NFL as a whole. This is a team that will drop further and further each week. It’s just hard to drop them to 28 or 29 just yet.
12. New Orleans Saints (+8)
Last Week: 20
The Saints came to play Sunday. They put up 52 points on the solid Detroit defense. They also scored three defensive touchdowns (two interceptions, one fumble recovery), had three interceptions, two recovered fumbles and five sacks. In other words, the Saints looked like the team that won the Super Bowl in 2010, and if they can replicate what they did this week, they’re not going to lose many games.
13. Denver Broncos (-7)
Last Week: 6
All they had to do was outscore the 0-5 Giants that were missing their top-four targets on offense. And they couldn’t. Maybe both the Denver offense and defense are overrated.
14. Atlanta Falcons (-10)
Last Week: 4
Man, can this team blow a lead. They were up 17-0 on the Dolphins. And lost. To the Dolphins. The Jay Cutler-led Dolphins. Yeah. They’re not as good as we thought they were. It’s not just that they lost, though, it’s how they lost and who they lost to (see: Denver Broncos).
15. Detroit Lions (-8)
Last Week: 7
The Lions were down 45-10 against the Saints. Then they came back and cut that lead to 45-38. They ultimately lost 52-38, but what should we make of that? They’re bad because they were down that much or good because they came back? I’ll go with “not that bad, but not that good either.”
16. Houston Texans (+1)
Last Week: 17
I wanted to move the Texans up even more, but with all the high-profile teams falling, they had to fall somewhere. That just happened to be right in front of the Texans. Deshaun Watson is the rookie of the year right now, and this team is trending in the right direction. They’ll get their chance to move up soon.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars (-4)
Last Week: 13
If the Jags had a quarterback that was competent enough to tie his shoes, they would be a top-five team. Their defense is astounding and their running game is phenomenal. But as long as Blake Bortles is under center, this team is stuck right around here.
18. Arizona Cardinals (+8)
Last Week: 26
ADRIAN PETERSON. That is all. Well, Larry Fitzgerald deserves to be mentioned too. But ADRIAN PETERSON.
19. Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Last Week: 16
The Cowboys aren’t that good and Zeke might be done for a while. They’re the third best team in a division that is dominated by one great team and one decent one. The playoffs are looking more like a dream than a goal at this point.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Last Week: 19
Ryan Fitzpatrick is back! The future is bright!
Well, not really. His beard is amazing, though. This team proved a lot to me this week when they went down 31-0, but they proved even more when RYAN FITZPATRICK led a comeback that fell just short at 38-33. Are the Bucs any good? Not really. They’ll likely finish last or close to it in the NFC South, which is looking like it might be a very strong division.
21. Tennessee Titans (-)
Last Week: 21
They barely beat the Colts and can’t score a touchdown to save their lives. Good thing Ryan Succop is amazing and went 5/5 on field goals, or this team might be in even worse shape.
22. Baltimore Ravens (-)
Last Week: 22
They lost to the Bears. But it was in overtime. But it was still the Bears.
23. Miami Dolphins (+5)
Last Week: 28
Jay Cutler is the greatest quarterback in the NFL. Not really, but if we didn’t know Cutler is terrible, we would all think he was great after how he came back from down 17-0 in the third quarter to beat the Falcons. I guess that just shows how much Atlanta loves blowing leads. In Miami, they just love blow (slang term for cocaine, the substance the Dolphins former O-Line coach was allegedly filmed snorting before a team meeting, for those of you who don’t get the joke).
24. New York Jets (-)
Last Week: 24
Man, I love the Jets all of a sudden. They almost beat the Patriots and might have if not for a controversial call on a potential touchdown. Too bad I can’t really move them up much this week for an ‘almost’ win.
25. Chicago Bears (-)
Last Week: 25
Da Bears! The overtime warriors! This is a team that is 11 points away from being 4-2 but is also just a few points away from 0-6. Mitchell Trubisky is the future of the Bears. Whether that means he’ll win a Super Bowl or that he’ll be the next Jay Cutler is yet to be known.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
Last Week: 23
A bye week hurt this team, as a couple teams below them leapfrogged them. They’ll have a chance to move back up a few spots when they come back. AJ Green is one of the best receivers in football. Andy Dalton is “eh” at best, though.
27. Oakland Raiders (-9)
Last Week: 18
The Raiders aren’t any good. Next.
28. Los Angeles Chargers (-1)
Last Week: 27
The Chargers won and fell a spot? Yeah, I would like to rank them higher, but that’s the nature of these rankings. Sometimes it’s hard to place a team in the exact right spot. They didn’t look good in their win over the (sorry) Raiders, but the Raiders looked worse. Should they be a spot behind them? Probably not, but going forward the Raiders have a better chance of being good than the Chargers.
29. Indianapolis Colts (-)
Last Week: 29
They looked good for a while against the Titans. Too bad defensive touchdown and some impressive throws weren’t enough for them to beat a mediocre team.
30. New York Giants (-)
They slaughtered the Broncos, so they must make a huge jump, right? No. Being 1-5 with all of your stars injured besides Eli Manning (is he still a star?) means you’re ranked in the 30’s until further notice.
31. San Francisco 49ers (-)
So close. Still 0-6.
32. Cleveland Browns (-)
Poor Browns. I really want them to win a game.
My picks for…
- Alex Smith
- Carson Went
- Kareem Hunt
- Todd Gurley
- Tom Brady
Rookie of the Year:
- Deshaun Watson
- Leonard Fournette
- Kareem Hunt
Coach of the Year:
- Andy Reid
- Doug Pederson
- Sean McVay