NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Undefeated Atlanta Falcons No. 1 for First Time

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIOctober 17, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 14: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is introduced before the game against the Oakland Raiders at the Georgia Dome on October 14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Week 6 was one of the crazier weeks of the year to this point.

Seven games were decided by three points or less. We saw a team trail 24-0 at the half and win. We saw a kicker hit a 61-yard field goal to tie, only to miss a 38-yard game-winner moments later. And finally, out of 14 games, nine were won by teams that had a worse record than their opponent.

Week 6 has left us with just one undefeated team (our new No. 1), the Atlanta Falcons. The Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos climb up five spots each, while the San Diego Chargers fall the most, dropping six spots. The Seattle Seahawks crack the top 10 for the first time since I began writing rankings in 2009, while the Pittsburgh Steelers fall out of the top 10.

Here are the rest of the rankings!

Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).

1. Atlanta (2): Matt Ryan continues to be phenomenal in the clutch, but regardless of Atlanta’s final record, their season will simply be defined by what they can accomplish in January.

2. Houston (1): The Texans looked bad in all facets on Sunday night, but don’t let that fool you. They are still a dominant team with a legitimate chance at the Super Bowl.

3. Baltimore (3): The Ravens tried their best to give their game away, but in the end, they got the win. How will Baltimore’s defense be without Ray Lewis for the rest of the season?

4. New York Giants (7): Ahmad Bradshaw has busted out in a big way the last two weeks. The Giants won it all last year with virtually no running game, so they would appear to be an even bigger threat now then they were a year ago.

5. Chicago Bears (5): The Bears could take over sole possession of first place in the NFC North with a win against the Lions in Week 7.

6. San Francisco 49ers (4): San Fran’s two losses have been pretty brutal this year. Nonetheless, there is no reason to believe they aren’t still a major contender. They have a huge matchup this week against the Seahawks (4-2).

7. Green Bay (12): If Alex Green can be productive from the running back position, the Packers will not miss a beat. They do, however, continue to suffer numerous injuries on a weekly basis—it is going to catch up with them eventually.

8. New England Patriots (6): Late in the game the Patriots began to play “not to lose,” rather than “to win.”  As a result, they lost. When will coaches finally realize you shouldn’t change your strategy late in the game?

9. Seattle Seahawks (13): There have been a number of surprise teams this year, but you’d be hard pressed to find any bigger than Seattle. They have a chance to quiet any potential remaining doubters this week as they face the 49ers.

10.  Minnesota Vikings (9): Minnesota was “Griffined.” Nonetheless, at 4-2 the Vikings are still in good shape in the NFC North.

11.  Pittsburgh Steelers (8): The Steelers are tough to figure out. They can beat anyone on their schedule, but they are extremely inconsistent. I still expect them to be right there come postseason play.

12.  Arizona Cardinals (10): Okay Arizona fans, you’re going to get your wish. Welcome back, John Skelton.

13.  Denver Broncos (18): What an incredible comeback on Monday Night Football by Peyton Manning and Co. That game alone has made them the team to beat in the AFC West.

14.  Philadelphia Eagles (11): The Eagles simply have not gelled as a team as I thought they would. Nearly a full season and a half into the “dream team” era, they simply are not reaching their potential. At this point there isn’t much reason to believe that they will. Andy Reid is officially on the hot seat.

15.  St. Louis Rams (15): At 3-3, the Rams are last in the division, but only by one game. They need to be a little more consistent on offense. In fact, make that A LOT more consistent, as they will face the Packers in Week 7.

16.  New York Jets (19): Shonn Green absolutely dominated in Week 6. If he can somehow be that effective every week, the Jets could be good. Unfortunately for New York fans, he won’t be, and they wont be.

17.  Dallas Cowboys (17): Another brutally painful loss for the Cowboys. At 2-3, they simply have to get it going if they are going to stay in the NFC East race.

18.  Washington Redskins (21): RGIII didn’t show any ill effects from his concussion symptoms from the previous week and had one of the best games of his young career. At 3-3, Griffin has the Skins just a game out of the division lead.

19.  Cincinnati Bengals (16): A.J. Green is an absolute monster and if the Bengals can get some kind of threat opposite of him, Andy Dalton could put up some monster numbers.

20.  San Diego Chargers (14): That is the kind of loss that can send a team into a downward spiral. Norv Turner is on the hot seat yet again.

21.  Detroit Lions (24): Detroit faced an absolute must-win, and they found a way to come through. A win against Chicago on Monday Night this week would be equally big.

22.  Miami Dolphins (23): I wasn’t sure if Ryan Tannehill would even sniff three wins this year. He’s won three of his first six and has the Dolphins in a four-way tie in the division.

23.  New Orleans Saints (22): Things are so bad for New Orleans, they dropped a spot on their bye week.

24.  Buffalo Bills (27): The Bills somehow left Arizona with a win on Sunday to get back to .500. Ryan Fitzpatrick has cooled off dramatically the past two weeks.

25.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25): The Bucs hammered the Chiefs to move to 2-3. Unfortunately, it takes a little more then a win against Kansas City to move up in the rankings.

26.  Indianapolis Colts (20): After an emotional comeback win against Green Bay, the Colts laid an egg against the Jets. Andrew Luck now trails his predecessor (Manning) in wins on the year (3-2).

27.  Tennessee Titans (29): The Titans won an exciting game at home on Thursday night, but sadly for Tennessee, they are still going nowhere quickly.

28.  Carolina Panthers (28): One of my preseason bold predictions was that the Panthers would win the division. What I really meant to add to that was “sometime in the next few years.”

29.  Oakland Raiders (26): The Raiders came oh-so-close to doing what no other team has been able to do this year (beating the Falcons). However, they ended up doing what plenty of other teams have done this year (losing in the final moments to the Falcons).

30.  Cleveland Browns (32): The Browns finally get in the win column in Week 6, and with back-to-back impressive games, WR Josh Gordon will surely be the hottest waiver wire pick up heading into Week 7.

31.  Jacksonville Jaguars (31): Perhaps the bye week will somehow have given Blaine Gabbert some much needed time for improvement.

32.  Kansas City Chiefs (30): Brady Quinn threw two picks, Jamaal Charles ran for 40 total yards, some guy named Steve Maneri led the team in receiving yards and the defense allowed 31 points. The Chiefs are simply hard to watch right now.



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