Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 7
1. New Orleans Saints (5-0, last week: #3)
If you’re a fantasy football owner, there is no team more frustrating than the Saints– unless of course you own Drew Breezy. They spread the ball around so much that they’re perfectly capable of putting up 48 points without starting running back Pierre Thomas ever seeing the end zone or anybody else scoring more than once. That also happens to be what makes them unstoppable in real life and the reason why they put up 48 points and 493 yards against a Giants defense that was allowing just 14 points a game.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0, last week: #2)
You don’t get to jump into the #1 spot on a bye week. That, plus the fact that the Colts are winning, but they aren’t crushing teams’ souls and making them question their religion like the Saints.
3. Denver Broncos (6-0, last week: #5)
The fact that the Broncos held the Patriots offense scoreless in the second half and overtime last week, how impressive does that look now? Jeez. And after being traded to a team with wide receivers on the roster, Kyle Orton is just flat-out beasting. I said, Kyle Orton is beasting. (I love repeating sentences I never thought I’d say.) He’s still only thrown one interception all year, and his QB rating is now over 100 for the season. Meanwhile, Jay Cutler has somehow managed to turn Matt Forte into a red zone fumbling machine. Yep, I’m blaming him for that.
4. New England Patriots (4-2, last week: #6)
They are who we thought they were. After throwing 6 TDs in the first 5 games, Tom Brady threw 6 in about a 15 minute span against the Titans. He probably would’ve thrown 10 if Belicheat the Cheating Cheater had left him in the game. If you’re in a fantasy football league, now is the perfect time to trade for Brady. And by now, I mean at this exact time last week.
5. Minnesota Vikings (6-0, last week: #7)
I’m just gonna come out and say it, I hate the Vikings and everything they stand for. I hate the fact that they allowed 385 yards passing to Joe Flacco, 7.2 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns to Ray Rice, gave up 21 points in the 4th quarter, and still won the game. I hate that their most impressive win this season has come against the St. Louis Rams. I hate that Brett Favre doesn’t suck. If they beat the Steelers next week, I’ll be absolutely inconsolable.
6. New York Giants (5-1, last week: #1)
After getting hit by Hurricane Breezy in New Orleans, suddenly you have to wonder how good the Giants really are. Like I said above, their defense had been allowing just 14 points a game, but four of their five wins have come against the Redsk**s, Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Raiders. And other than a few games in late November, their schedule doesn’t really ever get challenging to the point of “Now we’ll see what they’re made of.” It’s possible that they could go 12-4 and be totally unprepared at the end of the season to face playoff-caliber teams.
7. Atlanta Falcons (4-1, last week: #9)
Every week, I use this space to talk about my man-crush for the Matt Ryan/Michael Turner/Roddy White trio, but all three looked mediocre against the Bears this week. Ryan threw for just 185 yards and 2 INTs, Turner ran for 30 yards on 13 carries, and White had 4 catches for 56 yards, 40 of them coming on one catch. So let’s talk instead this week about the fact that the Falcons still won the game, thanks to a defense that is allowing just 15 points per game (4th best in the NFL). Let’s also talk about the fact that their only loss this season has come against the Patriots in Foxboro. The NFL is unpredictable from week to week, but I see 5 near-certain wins on the rest of the Falcons’ schedule (Redsk**s, Panthers, Bills, Buccaneers twice). Sharing a division with the Saints will keep them away from a bye, but I think it’s safe to say the playoffs are a lock.
8. Baltimore Ravens (3-3, last week: #8)
The Ravens have now lost three straight games in the final minute, but that doesn’t mean they’re better than their record. As good as their offense has become– Joe Flacco is on pace to throw 4,500 yards and 30 TDs, and Ray Rice is on pace for 2,000 total yards– at some point, they’ll have to address the fact that their defense can’t stop the pass. And it won’t get any easier after the bye week when they have to face the Broncos and the Kyle Orton air show. I said, the Kyle Orton air show. It’s entirely possible that the Ravens could become the greatest team in NFL history to lose four straight games.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2, last week: On the bubble)
It’s clear that Mike Tomlin is determined to get Ben Roethlisberger into the Pro Bowl. Six weeks in, Big Benjamin leads the NFL in passing yards, and his completion percentage (a ridiculous 72.5) is second only to Peyton Manning. He’s on pace to throw for 5,000 yards. Meanwhile, Hines Ward leads the NFL in receiving yards and is having a career year for no good reason. Please excuse my ongoing nervousness about Tomlin’s new air attack. The last time a Steelers coach fell in love with the pass and Hines Ward was putting up numbers like this, Tommy Maddox was in the midst breaking franchise passing records on the way to a 6-10 record.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2, last week: #4)
Ordinarily, losing to the Oakland Raiders would buy you an automatic ticket out of the top ten. But who am I going to put in this spot? The Bengals? No. They got their little shine last week, realized they’re the Bengals, and promptly returned to the bubble where they belong. The Packers? They beat the Lions, so what? Last week, I wrote, “The Eagles have crushed three bad teams and been crushed by a good one, so it’s hard to tell exactly how good they are. And we won’t learn anything about them next week in Oakland.” We actually learned a lot. We learned that cx2020 knows way more about the Eagles than I do.
On the bubble: Cincinnati Bengals (4-2, last week: #10), Green Bay Packers (3-2), Dallas Cowboys (3-2), Chicago Bears (3-2), Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
- Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 2
- Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 5
- Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 6
- Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 4**
- Forbes NFL power rankings: Week 9