Another week of NFL action for the 2007 season is in the books, and we continue to build towards the mega-showdown in two weeks between the undefeated Colts and Pats at the RCA Dome. This weekend was once again filled with crazy finishes and some solid upsets up and down the board. Here we go with our week seven power rankings. If a team was ranked a week ago, their ranking will be next to their name.
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas (1) – The Cowboys got back on track with a solid home win over the Minnesota Vikings. They did it with a couple solid aspects of their game coming through, like special teams blocking and taking back a Vikings field goal attempt for a score, and the defense holding the Vikings running game in check for the most part. This was a good bounce back game for them and showed they had no hangover from the Pats loss two weeks ago.
2. Green Bay (2) – The 5-1 Packers got a week off, and now will set up for an interesting Monday night showdown in Denver with the Broncos. The team got WR Koren Robinson back from suspension Monday, but the real issue continues to be the running game, and how it needs to be more consistent as we move along in 2007. The defense will be tested Monday night in front of a loud crowd in Denver.
3. New York Giants (3) – Just another walk in the park Sunday for possibly the hottest team in the conference, as the Giants put away the hapless 49’ers 33-15 at the Meadowlands. The defense continues to dominate up front, and the secondary led by rookie Aaron Ross and Sam Madison continues to make plays as well. They can’t allow this trip to London to play the Dolphins be an excuse for a letdown this weekend.
4. Washington (4) – A scary finish in DC saw the Skins had to sweat out a barley missed field goal by Neil Rackers that would have sent the Skins to their second straight loss. Their offense was not very good against Arizona, and the defense allowed too many close calls vs a team with a banged up QB. The big thing here though is that they won, and they should feel good about that and about being 4-2. Problem is – New England in Foxboro awaits Sunday.
5. Carolina (-) – The Panthers had the bye this week, and with the loss by Tampa Bay have sole possession of first in the NFC South. Carolina has been great on the road, winning all four games, but at home are a head scratching 0-2. Things will get no better this week, as Peyton Manning and the undefeated Colts come calling for a 1pm showdown.
NFC Bottom 3
1. St.Louis (1) – Marc Bulger was back in the lineup this past Sunday for the Rams, but they still stunk up the joint in Seattle, falling 33-6. At 0-7, the team should get a boost from the return of RB Steven Jackson this week, and they are playing a Browns team that is 0-2 on the road. Could this be the week the Rams break the streak? Let’s just say they have a shot.
2. Atlanta (2) – New QB – same results for the now 1-6 Falcons. Byron Leftwich actually looked good in there as the teams starter Sunday, but as luck would have it he was hurt and had to leave the contest. Overall the Falcons gave a good effort vs the Saints, but a late Reggie Bush score sealed the deal and Joey Harrington couldn’t get it done late. At least they can’t lose this week – they have a bye.
3. San Francisco (3) – The 49’ers actually led the Giants Sunday at one point, 7-6. Then the wheels came off, as they usually do, and the New York defense dominated from there, beating on Trent Dilfer and company for a 33-15 win. Now the team has the off the field distraction of Frank Gore saying that he feels the team does not trust one another. Let’s just say that it’s the last thing a 2-4 team needs right now.
AFC Top 5
1. New England (1) – Tom Brady is having a video game like season, 27 touchdowns and two picks. He came back in the game Sunday to throw a team record 6th TD pass. The team has allowed just 120 points on offense, and have scored an amazing 279. Consider that the other three teams COMBINED in the AFC East have scored less than 100 total points than the Pats and you see why many feel the Super Bowl is theirs already.
2. Indianapolis (2) – In any other season the Colts would be getting weekly headlines as the best team in the league, but with the Pats running over everything in their path, the Colts are a quiet 7-0. They made a statement with their win over the Jags on Monday night, and can do that again in two weeks when they host the Pats at the RCA Dome. The Champs continue just to get it done week in and week out.
3. Pittsburgh (3) – Sunday night in Denver the Steelers got some players back, but the rest of the team, mostly on defense, took the night off. They allowed Jay Cutler to pick his way down the field on the final drive for a game-winning field goal, and wasted two 14-point comebacks in the 31-28 loss. They continue to look solid for the most part, but are nowhere near the caliber of either the Pats or Colts. They need to get back on track in Cincy this weekend.
4. Tennessee (-) – How bout some props for the Titans, who tried everything they could to give that game in Houston away Sunday, only to have Rob Brionas kick another field goal (his 8th) to win the game and give them a huge win. Kerry Collins did a solid job for Vince Young at QB, and this was a laugher till the defense fell asleep in the 4th quarter. They should be 5-2 after playing the Raiders Sunday at home.
5. Kansas City (-) – Not exactly a thing of beauty Sunday in Oakland, but the Chiefs once again topped the Raiders and move to 4-3 in the wild AFC West. Larry Johnson went over 100 yards for the second straight week, and while they scored only 12 points, their defense did a nice job in shutting down any sort of Raiders threat. They get a week off before hosting the Packers on November 4th.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Miami (1) – Poor Miami, they sit at 0-7, are coming off a pounding by the Pats, and now lose their best player on offense in Ronnie Brown for the rest of 2007. What could go wrong next? Now they have to travel to London to play the Giants in a game that I am sure the team would much rather have a home this Sunday. The big story now is when will we see John Beck at QB?
2. New York Jets (2) – Last season the Jets were 10-6 and in the playoffs. This year – 1-6 and their season is all but over. It’s amazing how fast things have gone downhill for the Jets, who even this past week had a 13-point lead in the 3rd quarter but could not stop 7th-year back Kenny Watson and the Bengals in a 38-31 loss. This week the Bills, who beat them earlier this season, come to town.
3. Cincinnati (3) – Yes they finally got back in the win column on Sunday with a win over the Jets, but the Bengals are still a mess and have to get things turned around a lot more to get back to form. The defense is still giving up way too many yards and points, and this week they host the Steelers, a team that has owned them at Paul Brown Stadium the past few years.