Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: New York Jets Earn Top Honors With 5 Game Win Streak

October 19th, 2010 – by Bryan Cross

Just like the week before, week six in the NFL saw some of the top teams fall. That seems to be the theme in the 2010 NFL Season, after all it took only until week five before all 32 teams in the NFL had at least one loss to their credit. The parity that is the NFL has shined through this season, and every week there has been shift at the top of the rankings.

That will continue to hold true this week, as the top-two teams from last week (Baltimore and Atlanta) each dropped their games. That paves the way for new teams to ascend their way to the top of the rankings and stamp their claim as the NFL’s best.

Perhaps in a twist of irony, the top-two teams this week each have been defeated by the former No.1 team in Baltimore, which means that the Ravens will still be lingering around the top. After all, a loss on the road in overtime by a field goal to a quality opponent, is not exactly a two-touchdown stomping, cough, cough, Atlanta!

Without further adieu…

1 – New York Jets

After the opening week loss to the Ravens, the Jets have been on a roll as winners of their last five games. The latest, was a 24-20 win over the Denver Broncos on the road. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson continues to turn back the sands of time, tabbing two more touchdowns, including the game-winner. Quarterback Mark Sanchez continues to develop and look comfortable in the offense, even though he may make mistakes at times. With the defense playing well, New York is backing up their talk, at least through six games of the season which is good enough to earn them the top spot in this week’s NFL power rankings. The Jets have a Bye in Week 7 and will get an opportunity to heal, especially Darrelle Revis’ hammy.

2 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben has returned, and the passing game has improved considerably. Combine that with a solid running game behind Rashard Mendenhall and a defense that blankets opposing offenses, and the Steelers are a scary team. The Pittsburgh defense ranks No.1 against the run and is in the top-10 against the pass. They got an easy win this past Sunday at home against Cleveland 28-10, with Roethlisberger tossing three touchdown passes in his return. Pittsburgh will face Miami this Sunday, where they have been set as a three-point favorite in their NFL Week 7 Match Up.

3 – Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are one of the toughest teams in the league and for that reason they will stay in the top 3, despite losing to New England last weekend. Their game could have gone either way, and a three point loss to a talented New England team is just not enough to drop Baltimore down very far. In addition, the wins over the New York Jets, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 & 2 respectively in this week’s power rankings, the Ravens have built enough stock to stay near the top. Baltimore faces Buffalo this week, where the Ravens have been set as an asserted 13-point favorite according to the early Week 7 NFL Betting Odds. Should they slip up in that game, then we’ll talk more about moving them down.

4 – New England Patriots

The New England Patriots silenced many doubters with their victory over the Ravens on Sunday afternoon. It was the first game for New England without receiver Randy Moss, who was traded to the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. Perhaps the bye week last Sunday helped prepare them for what was to come, but nevertheless, the Patriots were able to get an important win. The signing of Deion Branch looks to have paid off, as the former Super Bowl MVP for New England caught a touchdown, and then several critical passes on the game-winning drive in over time. Now, the Patriots match up with the struggling San Diego Chargers this Sunday, where New England is installed as a three-point favorite.

5 – Indianapolis Colts

The Colts may stumble, but they never seem to fall. Two weeks ago Indianapolis sat at 2-2 on the season, with everyone questioning if this was the beginning of the end. Was the reign of the Colts in the AFC South and NFL regular season? Fast forward to the present, and the Colts are back among the NFL’s elite. Of course it helps when the quarterback is Peyton Manning. The return of Pierre Garcon was also welcomed, as the receiver made a catch against Washington Sunday night worthy of catch-of-the-year consideration. Manning has so many weapons on the offensive side of the ball, and if they can remain healthy Indianapolis should be a staple among the top-five in the power rankings week-in. Indianapolis has a Bye on the Week 7 NFL Schedule.

6 – Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons were ranked second last week in the rankings, but a 31-17 beat down on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles warrants a drop. The score doesn’t really even tell the story of how outmatched Atlanta was against an Eagles team trying to find an identity. Atlanta was behind the eight-ball early in that game, giving up a touchdown to the Eagles on just two plays during the opening drive. From there, Matt Ryan and the offense couldn’t get anything rolling on offense until the fourth quarter, and by then it was too late. The Falcons four-game win-streak was snapped, but they still sit at 4-2 on the season. The Falcons face Cincinnati out of the AFC North this week, where they are set as a 3.5-point favorite on NFL Weekly Betting Odds.

7 – New Orleans Saints

Quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense ripped apart the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the weekend en route to a 31-6 win. This was the type of performance that had been expected from the Saints all season long. New Orleans has not been up to the level that was commonplace a season ago, but the execution and performance on the road against the Buccaneers could spearhead a run for New Orleans as the midway point of the season approaches. The Saints will face Cleveland this week, where they are set as a two-touchdown favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks.

8 – New York Giants

The Giants continued their win-streak over the weekend by defeating the Detroit Lions 28-20. New York has looked like a completely different team beginning with the Chicago game a few weeks ago, having looked solid on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Quarterback Eli Manning and the offense are producing, while the defense continues to rank in the top seven in defending against the run, and second against the pass. The Giants will face NFC East rival Dallas on Monday Night Football this upcoming week.

9 – Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson seems to get stronger as the season wears on. Despite having a slower than anticipated start, by his standards, Johnson and the Titans sit in a tie atop the AFC South division with Houston and Indianapolis at 4-2 on the year. Tennessee went into Jacksonville on Monday Night and blew out the Jaguars 30-3. The Titans defense has been quite the story this season, continuing to limit opposing offenses from scoring. The Titans face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, where the betting lines for this match up are currently off, likely due to the Eagles starting quarterback situation.

10 – Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are atop the AFC South division, owning the tiebreaker over the Indianapolis Colts by virtue of their victory earlier in the season. Houston got a win over the Kansas City Chiefs this past week 35-31 in what was a hard-fought contest. Quarterback Matt Schaub continues to look sharp, and Andre Johnson is probably the best receiver in the NFL. Combine those pieces with running back Arian Foster and a solid defense and Houston has the talent to stick around for the long haul. Houston has a Bye this week.

11 – Philadelphia Eagles

12 – Kansas City Chiefs

13 – Miami Dolphins

14 – Chicago Bears

15 – Washington Redskins

16 – Green Bay Packers

17 – Seattle Seahawks

18 – Minnesota Vikings

19 – Dallas Cowboys

20 – Cincinnati Bengals

21 – St. Louis Rams

22 – San Diego Chargers

23 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

24 – Arizona Cardinals

25 – Jacksonville Jaguars

26 – Denver Broncos

27 – Detroit Lions

28 – Oakland Raiders

29 – San Francisco 49ers

30 – Cleveland Browns

31 – Carolina Panthers

32 – Buffalo Bills

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