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NFL Week 7 power rankings: NY Jets climb thanks to rivals’ woes

Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray
Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray, NFL Power Rankings, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

There’s a long way to go, but the New York Jets gained some ground in the latest edition of Jet X’s NFL power rankings.

1. Arizona Cardinals (6-0)

Last Week: 37-14 W @ Cleveland
Top Performer: QB Kyler Murray (20-of-30, 229 yards, 4 TD)
This Week: Sunday vs. Houston (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Missing head coach Kliff Kingsbury and visiting the resurgent Browns seemed to spell the end of Arizona’s red-hot start, but the ability to finish off such a challenge is yet another sign that the Cardinal takeover of the NFL is nearing completion.

2. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

Last Week: 34-6 W vs. LA Chargers
Top Performer: S DeShon Elliott (3 tackles, 2 pass breakups, 1 sack, 1 INT)
This Week: Sunday vs. Cincinnati (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Crushing the AFC West leaders was a solid statement (and much-needed blowout) win from the Ravens, who have won five straight after losing their opener in overtime.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1)

Last Week: 28-22 W @ Philadelphia
Top Performer: QB Tom Brady (34-of-42, 297 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Sunday vs. Chicago (4:25 p.m., CBS)

Already viciously attacked by the injury bug, the defending champions lost newcomer Richard Sherman during their Thursday night contest but managed to escape with another win.

4. Buffalo Bills (4-2)

Last Week: 34-31 L @ Tennessee
Top Performer: QB Josh Allen (35-of-47, 353 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 vs Miami)

Buffalo boldness (going for it on a failed fourth and 1 deep in the Titans’ red zone) stifled their stampede. But the loss, featuring a 417-yard output, likely says more about Tennessee than it does the Bills, who now have a week to think things over before facing the lowly Dolphins.

5. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

Last Week: 35-29 W @ New England (OT)
Top Performer: QB Dak Prescott (36-of-51, 445 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 @ Minnesota)

The past few games have all been tailor-made for the new-century Cowboys to lose, but they’ve responded well to the challenges bestowed upon them thanks to a defense that’s still prone to giving up yards in bunches but now forces crucial turnovers.

6. Green Bay Packers (5-1)

Last Week: 24-14 W @ Chicago
Top Performer: QB Aaron Rodgers (214 total yards, 3 total TD)
This Week: Sunday vs Washington (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Packers earned a relatively comfortable win over one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite properties and now face a reeling NFC East squad before embarking on a challenging pre-bye slate that begins on Oct. 28 against the Cardinals

7. Los Angeles Rams (5-1)

Last Week: 38-11 W @ NY Giants
Top Performer: WR Cooper Kupp (9 receptions, 130 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Sunday vs Detroit (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)

Granted a prime opportunity to regain their mojo (the Lions and Texans lie ahead), the Rams took full advantage of the garish Giants, victimizing their metropolitan hosts for four sacks and turnovers.

8. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

Last Week: 34-31 W vs. Buffalo
Top Performer: RB Derrick Henry (20 carries, 143 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Sunday vs Kansas City (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Who knows where the Titans would be without the antics of Henry, but humbling the Bills could drastically shift the fortunes of a team that’s probably winning its division by default.

9. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)

Last Week: 34-6 L @ Baltimore
Top Performer: LB Kyzir White (8 tackles, 2 INT, 2 pass breakups, 1 TFL)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 vs. New England)

The Chargers, still in control of the AFC West for the time being, now have two weeks to stew on not only a humbling loss but to think about the 45-point beating the Patriots dealt them last season.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

Last Week: 34-11 W @ Detroit
Top Performer: LB Logan Wilson (6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT)
This Week: Sunday @ Baltimore (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

It comes against the winless Lions, but the Bengals’ ability to handle business against inferior competition is another sign that their hot start is no fluke.

11. Las Vegas Raiders (4-2)

Last Week: 34-24 W @ Denver
Top Performer: DE Maxx Crosby (6 tackles, 3 sacks)
This Week: Sunday vs Philadelphia (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)

It’s not like anything eventful happened in Sin City this week. At least that’s how the Raiders, now led by Rich Bisaccia, played in a crucial divisional contest. They’re now set to face the Eagles and Giants in consecutive weeks.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)

Last Week: 31-13 W @ Washington
Top Performer: QB Patrick Mahomes (32-of-47, 397 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Sunday @ Tennessee (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

It’s hard to fully declare that the Chiefs are “back” after laboring through a visit to the nation’s capital that was much closer than the scoreboard indicated, but a prime opportunity to generate positive momentum comes against the resurgent Titans.

13. New Orleans Saints (3-2)

Last Week: Bye
Top Performer: N/A
This Week: Monday @ Seattle (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The roller-coaster Saints return to action after a brief reprieve and while Michael Thomas’ return isn’t imminent, but they should get several other injured starters back for a nationally televised matchup with the struggling Seahawks.

14. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)

Last Week: 34-28 W @ Carolina (OT)
Top Performer: QB Kirk Cousins (33-of-48, 373 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 vs. Dallas)

Having established themselves as the Packers’ biggest threat to NFC North supremacy, the Vikings now have a week to prepare themselves for a chance at a national splash against the surging Cowboys.

15. Cleveland Browns (3-3)

Last Week: 37-14 L vs. Arizona
Top Performer: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (4 receptions, 101 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Thursday vs. Denver (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network)

Falling to the undefeated Cardinals and narrow losses to the Chargers and Chiefs aren’t anything to be embarrassed about, but injuries and Odell Beckham Jr. drama is turning the Browns’ dream season into a quick nightmare.

16. Carolina Panthers (3-3)

Last Week: 34-28 L vs. Minnesota (OT)
Top Performer: LB Haason Reddick (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 fumble recovery)
This Week: Sunday @ NY Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

Those seeking a cheap laugh at the New York Jets‘ expense are undoubtedly disappointed by the Christian McCaffrey-less outputs of Sam Darnold, who has turned the ball over seven times over the last three fruitless games.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) 

Last Week: 23-20 W vs. Seattle (OT)
Top Performer: LB T.J. Watt (7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 @ Cleveland)

Consecutive wins over the sputtering Broncos and Seahawks allowed the Steelers to salvage the pre-bye slate despite defensive injuries and offensive inconsistency.

18. Denver Broncos (3-3) 

Last Week: 34-24 L vs. Las Vegas
Top Performer: TE Noah Fant (9 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD)
This Week: Thursday @ Cleveland (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network)

The good times are officially over for the Broncos, whose three-game losing streaking heading into a nationally televised contest was punctuated by a four-turnover showing against a team in turmoil.

19. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)

Last Week: Bye
Top Performer: N/A
This Week: Sunday vs. Indianapolis (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

Trapped in a powerful division, Sunday has the makings of an early interconference elimination game, one that requires the 49ers (whose losses have come by a combined 16 points) to figure out their quarterback conundrum sooner rather than later.

20. New England Patriots (2-4)

Last Week: 35-29 L vs. Dallas (OT)
Top Performer: S Kyle Dugger (8 tackles, 1 INT)
This Week: Sunday vs. JETS (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

It’s been an interesting three weeks for the Patriots, who struggled to beat the lowly Texans but took both Tampa Bay and Dallas to the brink, but Sunday’s rematch against the Jets could allow Mac Jones an opportunity to air the ball out as they seek momentum in the win column.

21. Indianapolis Colts (2-4)

Last Week: 31-3 W vs. Houston
Top Performer: RB Jonathan Taylor (14 carries, 145 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Sunday @ San Francisco (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

The offensive show was stolen by Taylor and Carson Wentz (uniting for four touchdowns) but Colts fans are most excited by the return of the injured T.Y. Hilton, who nabbed 80 yards on four receptions.

22. Chicago Bears (3-3)

Last Week: 24-14 L vs. Green Bay
Top Performer: LB Robert Quinn (4 tackles, 1 sack)
This Week: Sunday @ Tampa Bay (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Any progress the Bears have made, even the inspiring rise of Justin Fields, has been stifled by their latest embarrassment against the Packers and the fact that the road ahead gets no easier.

23. Atlanta Falcons (2-3) 

Last Week: Bye
Top Performer: N/A
This Week: Sunday @ Tampa Bay (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Falcons are a team that’s clearly building for the future, but they can kickstart their progress by getting youngsters like Kyle Pitts further involved in their offense.

24. Seattle Seahawks (2-4)

Last Week: 23-20 L vs. Pittsburgh (OT)
Top Performer: RB Alex Collins (20 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD)
This Week: Monday vs. New Orleans (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Moral victories mean nothing in the NFL, but an inspired effort against Pittsburgh in prime time sans Russell Wilson provided a quantum of solace.

25. Washington Football Team (2-4)

Last Week: 31-13 L vs. Kansas City
Top Performer: TE Ricky Seals-Jones (4 receptions, 58 yards, 1 TD)
This Week: Sunday @ Green Bay (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

Washington’s obvious attempt at deflecting questions stemming from the Jon Gruden scandal culminated in a half-hearted attempt to honor the late Sean Taylor, an effort duplicated on the field.

26. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)

Last Week: 28-22 L vs. Tampa Bay
Top Performer: QB Jalen Hurts (159 total yards, 2 rushing TD)
This Week: Sunday @ Las Vegas (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)

Friday’s trade of Zach Ertz, a reminder of the far too recent and far too fleeting good times in Philadelphia, shows that the Eagles are pushing resources toward the long-haul.

27. New York Jets (1-4)

Last Week: Bye
Top Performer: N/A
This Week: Sunday @ New England (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Jets management can preach until they’re blue in the fact on the progress they’ve made (and the defense was certainly very inspiring over the first five weeks), but their 2021 season is going to be judged solely on Zach Wilson‘s progress, no matter how unfair that is.

28. Houston Texans (1-5)

Last Week: 31-3 L @ Indianapolis
Top Performer: DE Jonathan Greenard (6 tackles, 2 sacks)
This Week: Sunday @ Arizona (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

The nicest thing one can say about the Texans is that they’re helping Astros fans somewhat appreciate their listless performance in the ALCS.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

Last Week: 23-20 W vs. Miami (@ London)
Top Performer: K Matthew Wright (3-of-3 FG, long 54)
This Week: Bye (Next: 10/31 @ Seattle)

A last-second win over the Dolphins and respectable losing efforts against Arizona and Cincinnati all hint that the Jaguars might slowly be getting it together, even if rumors still swirl around the embattled Urban Meyer.

30. Miami Dolphins (1-5)

Last Week: 23-20 L vs. Jacksonville (@ London)
Top Performer: QB Tua Tagovailoa (33-of-47, 329 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Sunday vs. Atlanta (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

One of Tagovailoa’s best showings as a pro brought no relief to the raging inferno that is Brian Flores’ proverbial seat, which is bar none the hottest in football after an international failure against the winless Jaguars.

31. New York Giants (1-5)

Last Week: 38-11 L vs. LA Rams
Top Performer: S Xavier McKinney (3 tackles, 2 INT)
This Week: Sunday vs. Carolina (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

The one positive truth about the Giants’ woebegone season was that they weren’t losing games because of Daniel Jones, but then he threw three interceptions in front of the Super Bowl XLVI champions.

32. Detroit Lions (0-6)

Last Week: 34-11 vs Cincinnatti
Top Performer: LB Julian Okwara (3 tackles, 1 sack)
This Week: Sunday @ LA Rams (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)

Head coach Dan Campbell already seems fed up with the Jared Goff experiment, as if the veteran quarterback needed another subplot to deal with as his return to Los Angeles looms.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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