Each week, we will bring you staff NFL Power Rankings. The overall rankings are a combination of polls submitted by Justin Rozzero, Marc Clair, Chad Campbell, Greg Phillips, Andrew Flanagan & Maurice Pogue. Each team is assigned points based on rank and then compiled and ranked overall based on total points. Managing Editor Brad Woodling has the power to break ties.
- Kansas City Chiefs (187 pts): It wasn’t easy for Kansas City, but at the end of the day, their defense stood strong and sealed yet another win to keep them undefeated. It isn’t a stretch to say KC has the best defense in the league and Alex Smith is back in the role he had a lot of success in two years ago in San Francisco: play it safe and let the defense and running game do the heavy lifting. Jamaal Charles has hit 100 yards and found pay dirt in all seven games this year. They now stand alone atop the West and have to be considered the top team overall.
- Denver Broncos (184 pts): Denver was due for a letdown, but even in a game where the offense was out of synch and Peyton Manning’s passes were wobbling through the static dome air, they still hung 33 points and had a chance to win. the Colts also smacked him in the face, racking up four sacks. The defense is rapidly becoming a problem and could be the undoing of this juggernaut because it only takes a game or two like this to submarine a historical season.
- Seattle Seahawks (180 pts): It was business as usual for Seattle, handily taking care of the Cardinals on Thursday night. Marshawn Lynch has looked great and no matter what the pass game is doing, the offense still runs through Beast Mode. The defense will now look to feast on a weak St. Louis team on Monday night.
- New Orleans Saints (173 pts): The Saints will have had a long 14 days to deal with the stank taste of last-minute defeat before they finally get back on the field to welcome Buffalo to the French Quarter. The Bills have been frisky, but the Saints offense should have no issue finding the end zone this week. The main concern is when Jimmy Graham will be fully healthy and ready to go.
- Indianapolis Colts (167 pts): How do we rank these Colts? Coming off a tough Monday night loss in San Diego, Andrew Luck dialed it up and looked fantastic in out-dueling Peyton Manning and knocking off the undefeated Broncos. The Colts have some impressive wins in the left side of the column and should be able to put away the South with ease. However, they still need to find a run game and also hope that they can find a way to replace Reggie Wayne.
- San Francisco 49ers (166 pts): The Niners have very quietly righted the ship and gotten their house in order. Colin Kaepernick has played very well in two straight games, in big part thanks to the return of Vernon Davis. The defense and run game look to be back as well, although admittedly they haven’t exactly been playing the elite of the NFL. That trend continues with a trip to London to play Jacksonville this weekend. This team can continue to pile up wins, but we may not have a true feel on them until they play New Orleans in week eleven.
- Green Bay Packers (154 pts): Despite losing two major offensive weapons last week and having their tight end go down to a scary injury mid-game, the Packers still handled the Browns with relative ease. Jarrett Boykin stepped right into the offense and led the team in receiving yards, picking up for James Jones and Randall Cobb. Next week brings a key divisional game and a chance to bank a win against a reeling Vikings team.
- Cincinnati Bengals (151 pts): The good Andy Dalton showed up in Detroit as the Bengals picked up a huge road win to stay atop the AFC North. The defense is very legit, but the loss of Leon Hall for the season will be a tough blow to shake off. If Dalton can continue to put up big numbers, the Bengals may be a top three AFC team. If he ebbs and flows week to week, the defense will have to shoulder the load.
- New England Patriots (146 pts): Putting aside the questionable call at the end of the game, the Patriots were severely outplayed in the second half against the Jets. After leading 21-10 at the half and receiving the ball first in overtime, they still couldn’t seal a win. Over the last two weeks, they are 2-24 on third down. Rob Gronkowski looked great in his return and they have a pretty record, but there are still plenty of injury and self-inflected holes riddling this team.
- Detroit Lions (135 pts): Coming off a bitter loss to the Bengals, the Lions have a big matchup this week as the Cowboys come into Motown. Calvin Johnson put on a show against a stout Cincinnati defense, but the Lions would be better suited to utilize Reggie Bush more throughout the game, especially in the red zone.
- Dallas Cowboys (129 pts): Dallas finally took care of business in a must win game, kicking back the Eagles and gaining control of the division. It was an ugly game, but the Cowboys won with good defense and timely scoring drives before suffocating Philly late. That formula will be tough to duplicate in Detroit, so Tony Romo better have his arm ready to chuck the ball around. Concerns remain around the running game and rumor has it the Cowboys are in the market for a new back.
- Chicago Bears (127 pts): The NFC North is getting muddied now, but the Bears may be in some serious trouble if Jay Cutler is lost for a significant amount of time. Josh McCown played admirably against a porous Redskins defense, but the fact that the Bears D could not stop RG3 when it needed to does not bode well for a team that may be without their top QB. The bye came at a perfect time, so hopefully Cutler’s groin can heal quickly enough to get him ready for Green Bay in two weeks time.
- San Diego Chargers (116 pts): As everyone discusses Denver and Kansas City, the Chargers are lingering, winning games and making the AFC West one of the best divisions in football. After upsetting the Colts last week, they took care of business bu smothering the Jaguars as they head into their bye. There is no hope of a division crown, but the wild card is a possibility. The only problem: they still have to play the Broncos and Chiefs two times a piece.
- New York Jets (114 pts): While the story of the post game was the odd penalty at the end of the game, the Jets should be proud of the second half effort they put forth in completely shutting down the Patriots offense. Coming out of the half, the defensive line mauled Brady and never looked back. Sitting at 4-3, the Jets have two very tough games ahead but they have to feel good about where they are, especially when you consider the soft back half of the schedule. However, they should be working the phones looking for help at wide receiver.
- Miami Dolphins (101 pts): The Dolphins bandwagon is awfully quiet as the team has quickly followed up three wins with three losses to drop down to .500 overall. As was stated in many previews, the key to this team was the play of Ryan Tannehill and to see him struggle against a beaten up Bills defense at home does not inspire much confidence. This was a very winnable and much-needed game to have, but Miami just couldn’t close the door. Things won’t get easier as they head to Foxboro this Sunday.
- Baltimore Ravens (98 pts): The Ravens hit the bye a game under .500 and two behind the Bengals after a tough road loss to the Steelers. Even with the losses on offense, if Joe Flacco wants to prove he deserved that huge contract, these are the types of games he needs to step up and win. The Ravens seem destined for a middling season unless they can turn things around quickly.
- Tennessee Titans (87 pts): After a promising start to the season, things have gone sour in Music City. Jake Locker returned from injury but the offense was hapless against the 49ers. Locker will get two weeks to rest now with a bye on tap, but the Titans need to start winning games again to stay in the wild card hunt. They should be able to get back on track with a game against the Rams in two weeks.
- Atlanta Falcons (84 pts): Atlanta played with a lot of pride Sunday and showed that they should still be considered a wild card contender, even with the mounds of injuries that have piled up. Harry Douglas had a big day and Matt Ryan was fantastic as always. There is still talent on this team and if they play aggressive and hungry, they aren’t dead yet. This week brings a winnable game with the Cardinals to help keep them rolling.
- Buffalo Bills (79 pts): Buffalo keeps racking up injuries, but just keeps chugging along, which is a testament to head coach Doug Marrone. Thad Lewis has played well and the Bills are back in the division mix. A huge upset win in New Orleans would officially put this team on the map, but there is still a lot to like here for the future. Although, it feels like that is the mantra every year.
- Cleveland Browns (76 pts): The feel good Browns have just become the Same Old Browns once again thanks to the return of Brandon Weeden to the starting lineup. The offense has quickly regressed and the defense can only hold up for so long against legit teams like Green Bay. With dreams of a playoff run quickly quelled, it looks like the Browns may be back in the tanking game, especially with Kansas City next up on the docket.
- Carolina Panthers (75 pts): Ever since they adopted a more aggressive offensive approach, Carolina has proven they could be a potential wild card contender. Cam Newton is dynamic in the right offense, so the coaching staff should continue to do stay on this current path. They beat the Rams as they should have, and now have another winnable game Thursday night at Tampa Bay and a victory will push them over .500.
- Philadelphia Eagles (68 pts): Issues at the quarterback position have crippled the Eagles and bore themselves out at the worst possible time, as a win over the Cowboys would have them in the pole position in the NFC East. Alas, Nick Foles regressed heavily and Matt Barkley was in over his head. The Eagles need to hope Michael Vick is back behind center when they host the Giants this weekend.
- Washington Redskins (63 pts): RG3 is…back? It sure looked like the RG3 we knew and loved as he marched up and down the field against the Bears, steering Washington to a big win on Sunday. The defense still has a whole lot of issues, but if they can get into shootouts, they just may have a chance to make some waves in a shaky division.
- Houston Texans (59 pts): Matt Schaub is out, Case Keenum is in, and it may be a permanent move after Keenum played well and almost delivered a win for the struggling Texans. Unfortunately, Arian Foster was also injured early in the game and losing him for any significant amount of time could be the final blow for this disappointing campaign. The Texans follow up the bye week with a visit from the Colts in a game that could be the make or break game of 2013 for them.
- Arizona Cardinals (50 pts): Poor Carson Palmer just doesn’t stand a chance with this disastrous offensive line in front of him. The defense continues to play hard and develop, but until they can put together a passable OL, it won’t matter who is behind center.
- Oakland Raiders (46 pts): The bye came at the perfect time for Oakland, as it gave Terrelle Pryor plenty of time to rest up and prep for a return to the field. The Steelers have been playing better, but still have some holes, so the Raiders could steal this game. Still, with a deep AFC West, they may be better suited to analyze their options for 2014 and look to play spoiler as much as possible. Stat of the week: Oakland is 0-10 coming off the bye in the last decade.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (44 pts): With two consecutive wins, the Steelers are back on track as they try to get into the division race. Le’Veon Bell has added stability to the run game and the defense is back to making big plays. They will have a chore ahead them in trying to slow down Terrelle Pryor, but after Sunday, Pittsburgh should be just one game under .500 and in second place.
- St. Louis Rams (41 pts): The Rams may be the worst 3-4 team in history and now they have to deal with Seattle on Monday night. Oh, and Sam Bradford is done for the year. This team is headed in the wrong direction at breakneck speed.
- New York Giants (26 pts): The Giants finally get a win after waxing a pathetic Vikings team, but a victory is a victory. A win over the Eagles Sunday may have this team believing again. They need to cut back the turnovers and find some semblance of a run game from the collection of ancient backs they have collected.
- Minnesota Vikings (17 pts): Josh Freeman looked like Christian Ponder on Monday night, which is obviously not a good thing. The Viking ship has quickly taken on more water than it can handle and it is clear they need to continue sinking and focus on drafting a franchise QB.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 pts): Tampa Bay is just not good in any aspect right now. Players are upset, fans are angry and the team keeps racking up losses. You have to wonder how long management will keep Greg Schiano around and also debate if they are going to start trading off any pieces in this lost year.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6 pts): You have to give the Jaguars credit for competing. They clearly are outmatched in talent most weeks, but they don’t roll over for superior teams.
Biggest Rise: New York Jets (+5)
Biggest Fall: St. Louis Rams (-5)
PTB Game to Watch: Dallas @ Detroit, Sunday, 1PM, FOX
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