Brad Biggs' Week 7 NFL Rankings

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune
·8 min read

With the Green Bay Packers getting blown out in Tampa, the Seattle Seahawks moved into the top spot in Brad Biggs’ NFL power rankings for Week 7. The first-place Chicago Bears, meanwhile, moved up three spots to No. 11.

Last week’s ranking in parentheses.

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1.Seahawks 5-0 (2)

The Seahawks are coming off their bye week and need to tighten their defense. They also need to improve on third down. They were 0-for-7 in their Sunday night win over the Vikings in Week 5 and are converting 32.6% for the season, which ranks 31st. The upside? The Seahawks have faced the second-fewest third downs in the league with 46.

2. Chiefs 5-1 (3)

The Chiefs signed Le’Veon Bell, but it’s worth wondering if there’s room for him after they rolled the Bills with 245 rushing yards Monday night, including 161 by rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

3.Titans 5-0 (4)

Mike Vrabel’s decision to take a penalty for 12 men on the field to stop the clock was ingenious as the Titans rallied to topple the Texans in overtime behind a monster effort from Derrick Henry.

4. Ravens 5-1 (5)

Lamar Jackson remains iffy as a passer, completing 16 of 27 for 186 yards and a touchdown in a 30-28 win in Philadelphia, but he rushed for 108 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown and a 21-yard gain with 1:48 remaining that allowed the Ravens to run out the clock.

5. Steelers 5-0 (6)

Ben Roethlisberger is now 23-2-1 in his career against the Browns after Sunday’s 38-7 demolition. That is complete ownership.

6.Packers 4-1 (1)

Even the best quarterbacks appear mortal under duress, and that’s where the Buccaneers had Aaron Rodgers for most of Sunday’s lopsided affair. He was pressured on 18 of 41 dropbacks and was sacked four times.

7.Saints 3-2 (10)

The Saints rallied from deficits of 14-0 and 20-3 in their last two games and haven’t looked sharp on either side of the ball. So the bye week came at a good time. The Saints are 7-3 coming off a bye since 2009 under Sean Payton.

8.Raiders 3-2 (12)

Jon Gruden believes bye weeks can stunt a team’s momentum, and the Raiders were rolling after an upset win in Kansas City in Week 5. But the time off will help three key members of the secondary (Johnathan Abram, Lamarcus Joyner and Nevin Lawson) heal up before facing the Buccaneers.

9. Buccaneers 4-2 (16)

Tom Brady didn’t have to be great in a rout of the Packers as the Bucs rolled up 158 rushing yards, with Ronald Jones going for 113 and two touchdowns.

10. Colts 4-2 (13)

Tight end Trey Burton caught four passes for 58 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown, and had a 1-yard rushing score in a comeback win over the Bengals.

11. Bears 5-1 (14)

The surging defense has challenges ahead against the Rams (25.3 points per game), Saints (30.6) and Titans (32.8). Something says the Bears will relish the opportunities.

12. Bills 4-2 (9)

The Bills were intent on not allowing Patrick Mahomes to make big plays against the secondary. The result was their front getting trampled by a rebuilt Chiefs offensive line in a 26-17 loss as quarterback Josh Allen had a rough outing.

13.Rams 4-2 (7)

The NFC East champion — the Rams swept the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Washington — will have to start challenging better teams. That chance is coming with the Bears, Dolphins, Seahawks and Buccaneers in the next four weeks.

14. Cardinals 4-2 (15)

The opportunistic Cardinals got four takeaways and Kyler Murray improved to 7-0 lifetime at AT&T Stadium in a 38-10 win over the Cowboys. That includes three Texas high school state title games and a Big 12 championship game.

15.49ers 3-3 (19)

After being trampled at home by the Dolphins, the 49ers could have fallen in a deep hole in the competitive NFC West, but they bounced back to defeat the Rams 24-16 Sunday night. “When you get embarrassed like that, you can find out a lot about your team,” coach Kyle Shanahan said.

16.Dolphins 3-3 (18)

Don’t sleep on the Dolphins as a dark horse to make the AFC playoffs. Brian Flores is getting it done on defense. The Dolphins are tied for second in points allowed at 18.8 per game and are No. 1 on third down, allowing opponents to convert only 31.3%.

17. Browns 4-2 (11)

The offensive line has been a strength all season, but it was completely overmatched by the Steelers, who pummeled Baker Mayfield until he finally was pulled with a previous rib injury.

18.Patriots 2-3 (8)

The offense was completely out of sorts in an 18-12 loss to the Broncos, and Cam Newton simply attempts to make too many passes with just his arm. His erratic mechanics have to be driving Bill Belichick mad.

19. Panthers 3-3 (17)

The offense without Christian McCaffrey and without protection for Teddy Bridgewater isn’t good enough to win many games. The Bears overmatched the Panthers up front.

20. Cowboys 2-4 (21)

Andy Dalton started in place of Dak Prescott, and after a lopsided 38-10 loss to the Cardinals, you have to figure Prescott’s contracts demands only went up.

21. Chargers 1-4 (22)

The Chargers regrouped during a bye week after losing four straight by one score, three of them to Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The schedule gets a little easier with the Jaguars and Broncos next.

22. Eagles 1-4-1 (23)

The Eagles rallied to have a chance to tie late in a 30-28 loss to the Ravens, and it was a costly defeat. Tight end Zach Ertz is on the shelf with a high ankle sprain, and running back Miles Sanders likely will miss Thursday’s game against the Giants with a knee injury.

23. Broncos 2-3 (28)

Vic Fangio’s defense dominated the Patriots up front, and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb is starting to round back into form after returning from a torn ACL. The Broncos flustered Cam Newton throughout.

24.Texans 1-5 (24)

Rumors are the Texans are considering being sellers before the Nov. 3 trade deadline. That makes sense when you consider the shape in which wheeler and dealer Bill O’Brien left the franchise.

25.Lions 2-3 (26)

The Lions exploded for 34 points in a win in Jacksonville, the most in the Matt Patricia era. If Patricia has a shot at saving his job, he’ll need more success in the next four weeks with the Falcons, Colts, Vikings and Washington upcoming.

26. Falcons 1-5 (30)

Raheem Morris is probably a long shot to become the next head coach, but if his debut as interim coach — a 40-23 win at Minnesota — is an indication of how hard the roster will play for him, maybe the former Buccaneers coach has a shot.

27.Vikings 1-5 (20)

You’re not surprised that Kirk Cousins is struggling. You are stunned how the Vikings defense has done a complete 180. Entering Monday night, the defense ranked 31st in scoring, 28th in total yards, 30th vs. the pass and 24th vs. the run.

28. Bengals 1-4-1 (25)

How do you know the Bengals need a personnel overhaul on defense? Watch them get carved up by Philip Rivers to blow a 24-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

29. Giants 1-5 (31)

Joe Judge has been giving young players a chance — the Giants have 19 players in their first or second year — but he’s also laying down the law. First-round pick Andrew Thomas was late to a team meeting Saturday night, so he was benched Sunday in the first win of the season over Washington.

30. Jaguars 1-5 (27)

The Week 1 win over the Colts feels like it was three months ago. The Lions entered allowing more than 170 rushing yards per game, and the Jaguars could muster only 44 yards on 16 attempts.

31. Washington 1-5 (29)

No surprise Riverboat Ron Rivera opted for a two-point conversion down 20-19 with 36 seconds remaining on the road against the Giants. When your roster is overmatched, you don’t play to extend the game by kicking an extra point, and Rivera is trying to reshape the culture. “The only way you learn to win is to play to win,” Rivera said.

32. Jets 0-6 (32)

The cupboards were pretty bare when Adam Gase moved in, but the walls are closing in now after a 24-0 loss in Miami.

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