NFL power rankings Week 7: 49ers, Eagles stay high despite upset losses

NFL power rankings entering Week 7 of the 2023 season (previous rank in parentheses):

1. 49ers (1): Way too premature to suggest they got exposed against the league's No. 1 defense – especially amid circumstances when you'd expect QB Brock Purdy to have his worst professional game given the staggered absences Sunday of injured Pro Bowlers Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams around him. Depending on the injuries, there could be an extended setback here, but almost certainly not one that signals the Niners are in major jeopardy.

2. Lions (3): They're indeed in rare air – one more win would make them 6-1 for the first time in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). And while it can be dangerous to look too far ahead, even for a team on a four-game heater, there don't appear to be many losses on the other side of Detroit's Week 9 bye. And if their RB room gets healthy, and WR Jameson Williams continues morphing into the weapon he was intended to be? Roar.

3. Chiefs (4): Including postseason, QB Patrick Mahomes has now started 100 NFL games … and won 80 of them. Crazy. Fifteen percent of his career victories, or 12, have come against Denver – a team that will be back in Kansas City's crosshairs in Week 8.

4. Eagles (2): Time to find something out about a team that largely tightroped its way to 5-0. But Philly couldn't hang in the Jets' mosh pit, and next must try and keep pace with Miami's track team. Maybe breaking out the Kelly Green for "Sunday Night Football" will have the desired effect, though.

5. Bills (5): Trust issues are becoming evident for a team that's won three laughers, including the Week 4 runaway from the Fins, but had trouble waking up in its other three contests. New England should pose little problem in Week 7, but then Buffalo will be under the prime-time microscope for three in a row.

6. Dolphins (6): How good – really – is this offense? The numbers, individually and collectively, have it tracking to be among the best in league history. In fact, Miami's O is averaging better than 100 yards more than the second-ranked Eagles. But dates with the Philly and K.C. defenses in two of the next three weeks should provide litmus tests … like the one Miami failed at Buffalo in Week 4.

7. Jaguars (7): A club that just spent two weeks in London now hits the road for two more games outside Duval County. RB Travis Etienne has 339 yards and four TDs from scrimmage during Jacksonville's three-game winning streak.

8. Cowboys (8): Scratching out a win in LA against the Chargers – in front of legions of Dallas fans – salvaged a bye week that was on the verge of ruination, especially pitted against former OC Kellen Moore and coming on the heels of the blowout in San Francisco. WR Brandin Cooks' TD catch Monday means he's reached the end zone with five NFL teams.

9. Steelers (9): A team that's won three of four coming out of its bye week is also about to get WR Diontae Johnson back on an offense that needs a spark.

10. Ravens (10): A team that's only had two home games will play four of its next five in Baltimore. Fun fact: Lamar Jackson has joined Michael Vick as the only quarterbacks to rush for at least 50 yards in a game 50 times.

11. Browns (13): Cleveland's stingy D has ceded 1,002 yards, fewest through five games in 52 years. On average, the Browns are surrendering 200.4 yards a week, more than 60 fewer than Baltimore's second-ranked defense.

12. Bengals (22): They leveled back to .500 entering a much-needed bye week. QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins and Co. better rest up, though, because they're not scheduled to face a team currently below .500 until Week 15, a stretch that starts with the Niners and Bills.

13. Rams (11): WR Puka Nacua's production has unsurprisingly downshifted with the return of Cooper Kupp, but he's still carved out a nice piece of historical real estate. The rookie's 50 catches for 598 yards are both records in the Super Bowl era for a player through six career games.

14. Seahawks (12): Despite Sunday's pair of unfortunate INTs, QB Geno Smith's mistakes are essentially on par with 2022's level. It's his touchdown production that's down by nearly half.

15. Jets (21): Per HC Robert Saleh, "(W)e’ve played a gauntlet of quarterbacks. I know we haven’t gotten all wins, but we’ve embarrassed all of them." Whether or not that's legitimately true, it's a fact this defense hasn't allowed as many as 300 net passing yards since the end of the 2021 season. (And, yes, it was to Tom Brady, who was rarely embarrassed by the Jets.)

16. Texans (18): They have two players with at least three TD catches … same as the entirety of Houston's 2022 season. No team has fewer giveaways than their three.

17. Buccaneers (14): If you don't want QB Baker Mayfield to shoulder an inordinate amount of the offensive load, you can't wallow at the bottom of the league with 3.0 yards per carry.

18. Saints (15): Here's a crazy factoid: Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, Walter Payton is the only player to have more games (25) with a pass attempt, carry and catch than New Orleans' Taysom Hill (20).

19. Chargers (20): You can argue they stole defeat from the jaws of victory yet again. Now? Better regroup quickly for a short week that will end in Kansas City against the rested Chiefs … in a game the Bolts really need.

20. Raiders (23): A win at Chicago on Sunday puts Las Vegas above .500 … which wouldn’t be bad at all for a team tied for the AFC lead with 12 turnovers.

21. Packers (24): Assuming they're revitalized coming out of their bye, could be time to go on a run given they're not scheduled to see an opponent currently sporting a winning record until Week 10.

22. Vikings (25): Another week and another key injury (LB Marcus Davenport, ankle) for a struggling team apparently determined not to have a fire sale.

23. Commanders (27): With four of their next six against NFC East opponents, including both games against the Giants, Washington could well be entering a stretch that determines its season … and quite possibly HC Ron Rivera's viability beyond 2023.

24. Falcons (16): Is there any head coach more fun to watch – meaning, literally taking in his facial expressions – than Arthur Smith? If he wants the focus back on his brilliance as a play caller and not his sideline grimaces, Smith might need to pivot to QB Taylor Heinicke.

25. Titans (19): QB Ryan Tannehill's ankle injury effectively sunk Tennessee in 2022. It's come earlier this year.

26. Colts (17): QB Anthony Richardson's shoulder injury will likely scuttle his rookie season, per owner Jim Irsay. Probably an unsurvivable setback … unless RB Jonathan Taylor displays his 2021 form soon.

27. Giants (29): ESPN Stats & Info sums up their start pretty well, noting the G-Men are the fourth team since 1950 which failed to score an offensive touchdown before halftime in each of their first six games. In fact, New York's offense hasn't scored a TD since Week 3.

28. Broncos (28): They'll only leave Denver one time from now until December. That may not necessarily be a plus given how this 1-5 outfit is trending … though if Sean Payton continues offloading players, at least the home fans will have some new guys to boo.

29. Bears (26): Two steps forward, one step back for QB Justin Fields, whose dislocated thumb threatens to send this squad back into hibernation.

30. Cardinals (30): That's three straight losses by an average of 16.7 points per. It took a month, but it appears the Cards are who we thought they were.

31. Patriots (31): Among their many, many failings? No team has fewer takeaways (3). And no team has a higher percentage of drives (81.7%) that end without points.

32. Panthers (32): Little has gone right for Carolina, but at least WR Adam Thielen continues to shine. Only two undrafted players have more 100-yard receiving games than his 24, and only one (Wes Welker) has more with double-digit catches than Thielen's eight.


Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on X, formerly Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL power rankings: 49ers, Eagles stay high, but who's No. 1?