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NFL Power Rankings Week 7

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Thrills, chills, and kills were what we got over Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season. Everything is in full stride as we approach the midpoint in Week 8 and things are looking bright for some, while glum for others.

The Houston Texans trounced one of the AFC’s top teams in the Baltimore Ravens, while the Patriots prevailed over the Jets in overtime and the Giants had a thrilling come from behind victory over their NFC East rival the Washington Redskins. Things are changing rapidly over this tumultuous season and we can certainly expect for more thrills, chills, and even kills over the second half of the year.

Mark your calendars because we’re taking a look ahead at the Power Rankings heading into Week 8.


1. Houston TexansHouston Texans

Record: 6-1 Rank Last Week: 4

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and this week the Houston Texans more than made up for their trouncing against the Packers a week ago, by kicking the snot out the Baltimore Ravens. J.J. Watt led the Houston defense in a huge effort, that saw Joe Flacco get intercepted twice, while Matt Schaub and Arian Foster led the defense up and down the field against the injury riddled Ravens D. This win was all but over by the half and left a satisfying taste in the mouth in the AFC’s best team. Watch out cause these Texans have returned to form. Next Week: Bye Week

2. New York GiantsNew York Giants

Record: 5-2 Rank Last Week: 3

A thrilling come from behind victory saw the New York Giants top their NFC East division rival the Washington Redskins, sending them to the top of their division and in the Power Rankings. Eli Manning’s 77 yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with just over a minute left was exhilarating, stunning the Skins and sending them to below .500. The defending Super Bowl Champs are now the new number one team to beat. Next Week @ Cowboys

3. Atlanta FalconsAtlanta Falcons

Record: 6-0 Rank Last Week: 2

Still the NFL’s only undefeated team left, the Atlanta Falcons come off the bye week to do battle with another NFL dirty bird, the Philadelphia Eagles. Next Week @Eagles

4. Chicago BearsChicago Bears

Record: 5-1 Rank Last Week: 5

In another dominant effort put forth by the Chicago Bears defense, they sent the dejected Lions home with a 2-4 record. Jay Cutler was precise and lethal in the first half, while Brandon Marshall had a huge day in the receiving corps. The Bears defense continues to impress, halting 2 Lions red zone efforts and sending Matthew Stafford running for the hills all night. The Bears are a very dangerous team heading into the halfway point. Next Week vs. Panthers 

5. San Francisco 49ers49ers

Record: 5-2 Rank Last Week: 7

A heated defensive battle in the West saw the Niners prevail over their hated division rival the Seattle Seahawks. Alex Smith struggled yet again to move the offense, losing a little of his poise that he had during the beginning of the year, while it was Frank Gore and the Niners rushing attack that helped them win the game. Despite the win, the Niners have to answer some questions as to whether or not Alex Smith is going to be the right guy to lead the offense moving forward. We’ll keep an eye out for this versatile team. Next Week vs. Cardinals (Monday Night Football)

6. Green Bay PackersPackers

Record: 4-3 Rank Last Week: 8

Another stellar performance from Aaron Rodgers saw the Packers easily hand the St. Louis Rams their fourth loss of the season. Rodgers was lethal, throwing for 342 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers offensive line took another serious lashing, but that still didn’t stop them from putting up 30 points on the board, while the defense stepped up big to contain Sam Bradford and the Rams passing attack. The only devastating thing to come from this game is the loss of Charles Woodson to a collarbone injury, who will be out for about a month. Nonetheless, the Packers are continuing to climb out of their slow starting, inching their way towards becoming elite again. Next Week vs. Jaguars 

7. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore RavensRecord: 5-2 Rank Last Week: 1

The injury infected Ravens might have seen their elite status fall to mediocre over a monstrous defeat against the Houston Texans. The Ravens were pummeled into the ground all afternoon as Joe Flacco couldn’t find any offensive rhythm and the Ravens defense took a giant beating without the help of the team’s vocal leader in Ray Lewis. This was a loss of epic proportions and now the Ravens will be searching for answers on both sides of the ball heading into their bye week. Next Week: Bye Week 

8. New England Patriots

PatriotsRecord: 4-3 Rank Last Week: 10

For the second straight week, the New England Patriots let a 2 possession lead slip away in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, yet this time around only to prevail in overtime by stripping Mark Sanchez of the football to end the game. Again, Tom Brady and the offense looked lethal throughout 3 quarters, but then struggled to move the ball in the 4th quarter. The defense allowed the Jets to force overtime and the Pats were dangerously on the verge of going below average. The Pats are still dangerous, but can’t allow teams to climb back into sure winnable games. Next Week @ Rams

9. Denver BroncosBroncos

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 9

Coming off the huge  come from behind victory on Monday night and the bye week, the Denver Broncos look to continue their climb in the AFC ranks in Week 8. Next Week vs. Saints (Sunday Night Football)

10. Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 12

Steel City had a lot to worry about going up against their rival Cincinnati on Sunday night, but worries were put to rest for the time being with a big 24-17 win. Ben Roethlisberger aired out the ball pretty well at times, but it was the third depth chart running back Jonathan Dwyer who helped the ailing Steelers running game in a huge 122 yard effort. This team’s rocky start is beginning to turn around, now it seems the Steelers could be climbing out of the rut they’ve been in for so long this season. Next Week vs. Redskins

11. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 4-3 Rank Last Week: 6

Russell Wilson’s dominant performance from a week ago was not echoed in Thursday night’s battle with the San Francisco 49ers. The Seattle defense looked ever so dominant again, but couldn’t match wits with their western division rival. Seattle has the components that make up a great squad, but their offense has to pick up the pace if they wish to be playoff contenders. Next Week @ Lions

12. Minnesota VikingsVikings

Record: 5-2 Rank Last Week: 15

Still the big surprise team from the NFC North continues to look powerful and hard to beat, as they easily beat the falling Arizona Cardinals. Christian Ponder looked like a nervous high school quarterback, but it was the amped up Adrian Peterson that carried the offense with 153 yards and a touchdown. This win begs the question are the Vikings for real or they simply a team masquerading as one of the top NFC teams to beat? That answer coming soon. Next Week vs. Buccaneers (Thursday Night Football)

13. Miami DolphinsMiami Dolphins

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 13

With a week of rest under their belts, the Miami Dolphins look to be a force to be reckoned with going into their Week 8 game against Gang Green. Next Week @ Jets 

14. New Orleans Saints

SaintsRecord: 2-4 Rank Last Week: 18

With their second straight win, the Saints will now see the return of their interim head coach Joe Vitt as they continued to get back to the dominant team they’ve been labeled. Drew Brees systematically led the offense up and down the field with a solid passing performance, tossing 4 touchdowns. Lance Moore and Devery Henderson each had big games themselves, but it was still the shaky Saints defense that almost saw them give up a last second tying touchdown that was thankfully called back due to a penalty. It’s a tough road ahead for this growing Saints squad, but one they’ll relish in tackling. Next Week @ Broncos (Sunday Night Football)

15. Indianapolis ColtsColts

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 23

After last week’s embarrassing loss to the Jets, the Colts needed a big confidence booster, and got that in a solid win over the ailing Browns. Andrew Luck was poised under center, while the running attack of Vick Ballard was just enough to help the Colts edge the Dog Pound. Chuck Pagano’s absence is certainly being missed, but yet the Colts are still a young team slowly maturing over the course of the season. Next Week @ Titans

16. Tennessee TitansTitans

Record: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 24

Holy Chris Johnson! In a huge 195 yard effort and his best of the season, Johnson officially led the suffering Titans to a huge last minute win over the Buffalo Bills. With a minute remaining in the game and down by 6, Matt Hasselbeck hit Nate Washington on a 15 yard touchdown pass to take a one point lead and eventual win. This was a much needed victory for a team still discovering who they really are. Next Week vs. Colts

17. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo BillsRecord: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 11

4th and 9 is the vice that gave the Bills their 4th loss of the season. In the dwindling seconds of the game, the Buffalo Bills surrendered a touchdown that saw them fall to the Tennessee Titans by one point. Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of his better days, throwing for 225 yards and three scores while Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller split carries and each posted above 70 yards rushing. It was a disappointing afternoon for the Bills who came so close yet so far. Now it’s really crunch time for this up and down squad. Next Week: Bye Week

18. Washington RedskinsRedskins

Record: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 14

The Skins had the Giants right by the skin of their teeth, but in the final minute, the Washington secondary broke down and gave up a huge 77 yard touchdown that saw them get surpassed by the New York Giants. RGIII was yet again a running and passing threat, but couldn’t pull out the big comeback win with the final seconds ticking down. The Skins are now desperate to bounce back after such a devastating blow to their season. Next Week @ Steelers

19. Dallas CowboysDallas Cowboys

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 25

Big D needed a huge W, and they certainly achieved that over the weekend, with a win over the Carolina Panthers. Tony Romo was on target all day, and helped the Boys offense by staying turnover free. The defense stepped up in more ways than one and had Panthers quarterback Cam Newton running for his life all day. Dallas now needs to focus on chasing the G-Men in the NFC East and next week presents a prime opportunity. Next Week vs. Giants

20. New York Jets

JetsRecord: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 17

Just shy of upsetting the New England Patriots, the Jets rallied with 13 points in the 4th quarter to force overtime, but Mark Sanchez was sacked and fumbled in extra time, giving the Pats a big win. Sanchez was a little more efficient on the afternoon, leading the offense with 328 yards and a touchdown while Jeremy Kerley had a standout day at wide receiver. The Jets really put the pressure on the Patriots, but just didn’t have enough momentum to steal a win away. Now, Gang Green is struggling to rally midway through the season and needs to figure out how to win big divisional games. Next Week vs. Dolphins

21. Philadelphia EaglesEagles

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 21

These soaring Eagles are in for the fight of their life in Week 8 as they take on the NFL’s only undefeated team remaining. Next Week vs. Falcons

22. Detroit LionsDetroit Lions

Record: 2-4 Rank Last Week: 16

Yet again the Detroit Lions fell into a huge hole and couldn’t climb out of it. Matthew Stafford was chased down all day by the relentless Bears defense and the Lions offense was nowhere to be found. This team isn’t even remotely close to the team they were a year ago and now need a big upturn if they hope to make it back to the playoffs. Next Week vs. Seahawks

23. Oakland RaidersOakland Raiders

Record: 2-4 Rank Last Week: 29

Strength and stamina showed by the Oakland Raiders helped them overcome the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-23. With a lot of offensive errors, the Raiders still managed to fight their way back into a game where it was thought Jacksonville was going to steal a win away from them. Carson Palmer hooked up nicely with Darius Heyward-Bey 4 times for 85 yards, while it was a Sebastian Janikowski field goal that sealed the deal. Could the Raiders be rising in the AFC? Only time will tell for the Black and Silver. Next Week @ Chiefs

24. St. Louis Rams

RamsRecord: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 19

The Rams were heavily burned by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense while Sam Bradford had loads of trouble moving the ball against the GB defense. Bradford threw for 255 yards and a touchdown, but had a costly pick. Steven Jackson had some success running the ball, but his powerful force couldn’t match up well against the Packers D-line. Jeff Fischer’s head must be spinning because the Rams have a good opportunity to fight for first in the NFC West, but always seem to fall right when it matters most. Next Week vs. Patriots

25. Arizona CardinalsArizona Cardinals

Record: 4-3 Rank Last Week: 20

These soaring birds are beginning to see their downfall. The Cardinals drop their 3 straight game after starting 4-0. John Skelton was under center for the injured Kevin Kolb, but couldn’t do much through the air, while it was the rushing attack of LaRod Stephens-Howling who gave the Cardinals a fighting chance with over 100 yards on the ground. This team needs to get back to their winning ways with their scrappy defense and running offense. If that doesn’t happen soon, expect a collapse of epic proportions. Next Week vs. 49ers (Monday Night Football)

26. Cincinnati BengalsCincinnati Bengals

Record: 3-4 Rank Last Week: 22

The Bengals became the Bungles over the weekend, losing ever so closely to division rival, Pittsburgh. Andy Dalton was wild and inaccurate all day, throwing for a lowly 105 yards. What happened to the Bengals that began the season? This team needs to be resilient and stay on track if they hope to prevail in the AFC North. Time for the Cats to regain their roar. Next Week: Bye Week

27. San Diego ChargersSan Diego Chargers

Record: 3-3 Rank Last Week: 27

After their epic collapse against the Broncos, the Chargers are hopefully rested up and ready to tackle the Cleveland Browns going into Week 8. Next Week @ Browns

28. Tampa Bay BuccaneersTampa Bay Buc's

Record: 2-4 Rank Last Week: 26

Josh Freeman and the Bucs were one pass away from tying the Saints to send the game into overtime, but Mike Williams became an ineligible receiver when he stepped out of bounds before receiving the pass. It was a close, hard fought battle that Tampa Bay could have used as some leverage in the NFC South, but they just couldn’t overcome the huge day Drew Brees had. Now, this team needs to find a more useful rhythm and finish games more effectively. Next Week @ Vikings (Thursday Night Football)

29. Cleveland BrownsCleveland Browns

Record: 1-6 Rank Last Week: 28

The lowly Cleveland Browns continue to improve and have tons of weapons on both sides of the ball, but the problem is that the Browns haven’t figured out a useful way to utilize everyone offensively and defensively. Brandon Weeden continues to improve on a weekly basis, throwing 2 touchdowns with 264 yards passing. The Browns are one of the more dominant 1 win teams this season and need to mesh all of their talent together effectively if they want more wins in 2012. Next Week vs. Chargers

30. Carolina PanthersCarolina Panthers

Record: 1-5 Rank Last Week: 30

Cam Newton said it perfectly in his post game interview saying that big things need to change in Carolina and big things changed when Carolina fired their GM Marty Hurney after their awful 1-5 start. This game really showed how Cam Newton has come under the sophomore slump because he was under pressure all day from the Dallas Cowboys defense. He’s a young quarterback still learning the mechanics of the game, but Newton now needs to step up and be a team leader. Hopefully more big changes to come in Carolina. Next Week @ Bears

31. Kansas City ChiefsChiefs

Record: 1-5 Rank Last Week: 31

The Kansas City Chiefs are in a do or die situation heading into the midpoint of the season and now they need to get back on track against the Black and Silver this week if they expect to be remembered in 2012. Next Week vs. Raiders 

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville JaguarsRecord: 1-5 Rank Last Week: 32

With the loss of Maurice Jones-Drew for an undisclosed amount of time, the Jaguars are beginning to sink even further. It was a hard fought battle against the Oakland Raiders, but the Jags just didn’t have enough to overcome them. Blaine Gabbert hit the bench due to an injury, while Chad Henne made an unlikely appearance to back up Gabbert. This team is really in a heap of trouble and now things in Jacksonville couldn’t be worse with one of the NFL’s best running backs missing in action. Next Week @ Packers

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About the author

Chris Strong

Chris Strong is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan living in the heart of Chicago and though he gets many strange looks wearing his green and gold, he represents his team proudly in the windy city. By day, Chris is a supervisor at a Chicago Cubs merchandise store located across the way from Wrigley Field, not to mention an avid film and media writer. By night, Chris continues to pursue a sports writing career as he loves all things football, especially the NFL.


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  • those Texans got nothing on us, were da champs and were going to win it again this year. Nobody ever talks about us yet all we do is win, you could have your battle red or whatever, it doesn’t matter as you will even make it as far as us this year. The Texans are all-hype.

  • I’m surprised the Chiefs aren’t lower, they’re killing me! I had such high hopes for the team this year. the wheels are definitely coming off. I hope we can unload Bowe for high draft pick to rebuild.

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