We currently live in a world where the Cleveland Browns are not the worst team in the NFL. Monday truly was a different day for Cleveland sports fans. The sun was a little brighter, morning coffees tasted better, and local sports talk radio wasn't flooded with the voices of depressed individuals seeking out the nearest bridge. One thing that hasn't changed from this time last week is that the very top spot in NFL power rankings is again occupied by a NFC South team that continues to find ways to win games.
2012 Week 7 NFL power rankings
32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5): Shockingly to all, it seems that Brady Quinn may not be the answer in KC. Don't just blame the lack of a QB for the team's woes, though, as their defense made lackluster Tampa Bay look elite.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4): Jacksonville didn't play this week. I don't know about any of you, but I didn't miss the Jags.
30. Carolina Panthers (1-4): The Panthers fall in NFL power rankings only because two particular teams found wins in Week 6. I'm curious to see if Cam Newton used the extra week to figure things out.
29. Indianapolis Colts (2-3): The lowly Jets slapped Indy around on Sunday. One can't help but wonder if they've already hit their emotional high.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-4): The Raiders literally couldn't get out of their own way against Atlanta. It's not the first time such issues have prevented them from winning in 2012.
27. Cleveland Browns (1-5): Pigs are airborne and hell is warm! Now that the cliché jokes have been typed, it must be pointed out that the win over Cincy will mean nothing if the Browns get rolled at Indy next weekend.
26. New Orleans Saints (1-4): On paper, you'd have to like the Saints when they are at Tampa Bay. Then again, New Orleans has looked good on paper since Week 1.
25. Tennessee Titans (2-4): Beating a banged up Steelers team at home didn't leave me overly impressed. There are still serious concerns about this team's offense.
24. Dallas Cowboys (2-3): I'd say that the Cowboys are the ultimate "good, not great" team of 2012, but I'm not convinced they're all that good.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3): Sorry, TB fans, but the Bucs don't move in this week's NFL power rankings despite the 28-point win. Routing KC at home just doesn't mean all that much to me.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3): Cincy has to be the worst 3-3 team in the league. Truth be told, they easily could have gone winless against the Browns this season. Yuck.
21. Buffalo Bills (3-3): The Bills are underwhelming, yes, but they're also in a four-way tie for first place in the division. A few fortunate bounces here or there could have the Bills playing football in January.
20. New York Jets (3-3): Mark Sanchez and friends won't be hosting the Colts every week. Next Sunday's game at New England should prove to be a much bigger challenge for Gang Green.
19. St. Louis Rams (3-3): Sam Bradford may not have missed Danny Amendola when facing the Miami secondary. I assure you that he will, though, as the season goes on.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3): The story remains the same for Pittsburgh. Injuries have made them look very old, and they're not nearly the same team when playing away from home.
17. Detroit Lions (2-3): A huge rally in Philly could be a season-defining moment for a Lions team that has to stop going down big early in games. Will they play a complete game in 2012?
16. Washington Redskins (3-3): You'd have to be crazy to still have doubts about RG3. Washington is a playoff threat as long as the rookie stays healthy.
15. San Diego Chargers (3-3): That's the Chargers of early fall I'm used to seeing. How will they bounce back from a complete meltdown in front of a national TV audience?
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3): Looks like Mike Vick only avoids mistakes when playing against the Giants. That's not good enough, and neither is the team's defense.
13. Miami Dolphins (3-3): I'm even a little surprised that I have the 'Phins this high in NFL power rankings this week. Ryan Tannehill and the team's run defense continue to impress.
12. Arizona Cardinals (4-2): Uh-oh. Things are unraveling rather quickly for the once undefeated Cards. A trip to Minnesota is not what this team needs right now.
11. New England Patriots (3-3): These aren't the Patriots of old, at least not yet. A shaky offensive line could be their undoing.
10. Denver Broncos (3-3): Well I guess Denver really can rely on Peyton Manning being there to save the day in the final half-hour of a contest. That, along with San Diego practically giving the game away on Monday night, has the Broncos riding high into the off week.
9. Seattle Seahawks (4-2): I've no-sold Seattle since that Monday night debacle. Nobody can deny just how good the team's defense continues to play, though. I may not be there on the 'Hawks yet, but I'm quickly becoming a believer.
8. Minnesota Vikings (4-2): The Vikes ran into the RG3 train on Sunday. These things happen.
7. Green Bay Packers (3-3): Aaron Rodgers is still pretty good. When he's on, Green Bay is nearly unbeatable.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-1): Have to drop the Ravens in NFL power rankings despite the win due to the crippling injuries. A defense that has already been not as good as advertised lost two extremely important players, including arguably the most motivational leader in pro sports.
5. San Francisco 49ers (4-2): Humbled by the Giants at home, San Fran needs to figure out just what type of offense they're going to run. The flipping back-and-forth between QBs isn't doing it for me.
4. Houston Texans (5-1): "Wait until they play a good team before you crown Houston kings of NFL power rankings" has been my mantra all season. Sunday night showed why.
3. Chicago Bears (4-1): Chicago had an extra week to prepare for a Monday night showdown with Detroit. The Bears could turn a lot of heads on national TV for the second time this season.
2. New York Giants (4-2): It's easy to get excited about the Giants after a big win against the Niners. Now watch them lose at home to the Redskins this coming Sunday.
1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0): The Falcons continue to be kings of all NFL power rankings. There's no better fourth quarter team in the league right now.
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