The Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals keep winning, topping the NFL power rankings once again, while the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions are surging in the right direction, something that can’t be said about the three worst teams in the league: New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders.
1. Denver Broncos (6-1): The most finely tuned offensive machine in the NFL continues to put up big numbers, with Manning and Emmanuel Sanders linking up more and more with every game.
2. Arizona Cardinals (6-1): Receivers who can make huge plays, a quarterback that doesn’t try too hard and an excellent defense even when banged up. The Cardinals aren’t exciting, but they’re hard to ignore.
3. New England Patriots (6-2): Simply put? At home, they look very scary again.
4. Detroit Lions (6-2): It’s hard putting a finger on the Lions, but for the first time in a very long time, they simply seem to have the right kind of balance on both ends of the field.
5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2): The offensive line can’t afford to be baffled by defensive back blitzed like it did vs the Redskins. Not giving DeMarco Murray enough touches is to blame for the loss as well.
6. San Diego Chargers (5-3): Two straight losses, and all those wins against weak opponents don’t seem so impressive anymore, as the Chargers, more than anything, look like a team that needs a rest.
7. Seattle Seahawks (4-3): Still not looking good, but even on bad days from Russell Wilson, that ability to squeeze out great drives in the end keeps their head above the water.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1): The Bengals are in what seems to be the toughest division to play in this season, and manage to pull through thanks to Andy Dalton avoiding mistakes and running for touchdowns himself.
9. Baltimore Ravens (5-3): Losing twice to the Bengals might prove very costly by the end of this season.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2): There’s something forced and less smooth about the Eagles this season, who lost by four point to the Cardinals but it should have ended in a less narrow fashion.
11. Indianapolis Colts (5-3): Andrew Luck is going to be a great quarterback, but he’s not there just yet.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3): The Charles-Davis rushing duo is wrecking havoc against almost everyone, and Houston might be flying under the radar, but he is the most productive pass rusher in the NFL alongside J.J. Watt.
13. Green Bay Packers (5-3): Once in a very long time, Rodgers will actually be outplayed by the quarterback he faces.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3): Ben Roethlisberger set some impressive records and milestones in a win over the Colts, as the Steelers won two games in a row, a first for them this season.
15. San Francisco 49ers (4-3): Have a comfortable landing off the bye, playing the St. Louis Rams.
16. Buffalo Bills (5-3): More than anything, the Bills’ big achievement this week was setting in motion the change of quarterbacks for the Jets.
17. Houston Texans (4-4): It’s great to see Arian Foster making an impressive comeback and J.J. Watt is always a joy to behold, but the Texans don’t have a good enough quarterback to beat above average teams.
18. New York Giants (3-4): Had a bye week to think about their fumbles.
19. Cleveland Browns (4-3): It’s hard to draw any conclusions from wins against the Raiders. The Browns are doing a lot better than anyone expected through the first seven games of the season.
20. New Orleans Saints (3-4): At home and with a defense that doesn’t go all-out all the time, the Saints are still a very dangerous team.
21. Carolina Panthers (3-4-1): Cam Newton can’t run, and with his limited offensive weapons, that’s not good enough to close out a game that was in their hands thanks to some excellent defense.
22. Miami Dolphins (4-3): You don’t need to do too much when you’re playing against the Jags.
23. Chicago Bears (3-5): It felt like the loss to the Patriots was a defining game about the chances for the Bears to do anything this season, and maybe at all while Cutler is their quarterback.
24. Washington Redskins (3-5): So is Colt McCoy the new big hope now?
25. Minnesota Vikings (3-5): A win over the Bucs can be misleading, for Teddy Bridgeater does manage to look like someone with a bright future from time to time.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6): Five straight losses and it’s quite clear that Mike Smith isn’t going to be coaching them in 2015.
27. St. Louis Rams (2-5): When trick plays don’t work, the Rams really look like a bad team.
28. Tennessee Titans (2-6): The quarterbacks keep changing, but there’s a lot more in need of fixing for the Titans.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6): Mike Glennon, Josh McCown, it doesn’t matter. The Bucs are a sad bunch, and it looks like more of a rebuilding job with every week that goes by.
30. New York Jets (1-7): Seven straight losses, Geno Smith losing his job. Soon it’ll happen to Rex Ryan too.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7): Each week it’s something else. This time? Blake Bortles interceptions costing his team the game against Miami.
32. Oakland Raiders (0-7): No wins, no hope.