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Ravens, Packers Surge: Crunching The Numbers Week 7

The Eagles had the week off and ended up staying put this week. How did the other teams do? And, more importantly, did the Cowboys supplant them?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

While it was another exciting weekend of football, it wasn't the greatest for me on a personal level. 1) The Giants vanished in the fourth quarter and failed to beat the Cowboys, 2) Julius Thomas only got me 2.70 points in my fantasy game (which I lost), while freaking Dwayne Allen on my bench got over 11, and 3) The Eagles didn't play. Well, I guess I should be happy Penn State didn't lose, but that's mostly because they didn't play either.

But I digress. More NFL games means more NFL data! How did the teams shift around this week? Well we have a new number one team (not surprising)... and also a new two, three, four, and five. Definitely some intrigue there, so read on to find out who went where.

Crunching The Numbers Rank Index, Week 7

1. Baltimore (23.886): The Ravens have managed to quietly annihilate their competition this season and grab the league's best point differential with only 14.9 points allowed per game. Their opponents may not have been the greatest, but they have done what good teams do and defeated them handily. The AFC should start taking notice. Last Week: 3, 21.810

2. Denver (22.674): Peyton Manning broke the record in the most storybook way possible - with a 42-10 rout of the 49ers at home in primetime. That newly-revamped defense is playing well too, as they are now averaging 3.5 sacks a game. Unless a defense like the Seahawks' last year emerges, Manning may once again be lifting the Lombardi trophy should the Broncos keep this up. Last Week: 4, 19.302

3. Indianapolis (19.915): The Colts are red-hot right now and are also emerging as an AFC powerhouse, especially with the play of that defense (3 sacks per game, 79 passer rating allowed). The Eagles might have been lucky to play them before they really hit their stride... the same really can't be said for the Cowboys. Last Week: 5, 16.465

4. San Diego (18.698): I was ready to anoint the Chargers as the new number one, but Andy Reid's post-bye magic ruined all that. I still think that Philip Rivers and Co. have what it takes to win this division, but they will have to play with the consistency they showed during that five game winning streak. Last Week: 2, 21.983

5. Green Bay (16.846): Few people are playing better than Aaron Rodgers right now (113.2 quarterback rating), which makes the Packers almost impossible to slow down on offense. However, there are weaknesses to exploit in the run defense (8.4 rushing first downs allowed/game) that could haunt them down the road. Last Week: 9, 13.806

6. Philadelphia (15.571): A bye week and no movement for the Eagles. They should be considerably healthier coming out of their week off and be more prepared for a considerably harder schedule as they push towards the playoffs. They'll get the first taste of that this week against the 5-1 Cardinals. Last Week: 6, 15.571

7. Dallas (15.506): The Cowboys boast the league's best record and yet find themselves down here at seventh. Not bad by any means, but they certainly aren't perfect. Of all the things that they have done right (see: run the ball), some deficiencies that may undo them are their lackluster pass rush (1 sack/game) and their turnover margin (-0.1/game). Last Week: 7, 14.785

8. New England (12.245): The Patriots have made a habit out of playing down to their competition, which won't serve them well later in the season. That run defense took a beating against the Jets (6.7 rushing first downs per game) and Tom Brady is throwing a middling 13.7 incompletions per game. There's still some work to do. Last Week: 10, 13.004

9. Detroit (10.694): The Lions escaped and the Saints missed out on the rare road win on Sunday. They have shown resiliency and the defense is playing at an elite level (4.3 rushing first downs allowed/game, 76.4 passer rating allowed), but until they can find away to protect Matt Stafford (3.4 sacks/game allowed) this team will be hindered. Last Week: 12, 11.766

10. Cincinatti (10.674): Honestly, the Bengals are still lucky to be in the top ten after that atrocious outing in Indianapolis. I said earlier that their success in this system was attributed to that low sack rate, and it has since quintupled from 0.2/game to 1/game. That, plus the shutout, will be enough to bump any team down nine spots. Last Week: 1, 29.174

11. Arizona (9.618): The Cardinals may just be the new NFC West favorite with the way they're winning. Like the Eagles, they are successful in spite of mediocre quarterback play (6.5 yards/attempt, 15 incompletions/game), but their defense is arguably better. They'll be a solid test for Chip Kelly's squad on Sunday. Last Week: 15, 7.679

12. Seattle (9.090): What an embarrassing loss to the Rams. You would think that such a talented team wouldn't fall for the trap game after losing at home, but they did. Or maybe it's not a trap game and they're just having a down year? That "Legion of Boom" is now letting quarterbacks post a passer rating of 103.7 and is only managing 1.2 sacks/game. Last Week: 13, 10.618

13. Cleveland (8.485): Just when I am ready to drink the Kool-Aid for the Browns, they go and lose to the lowly Jaguars, 24-6. They are still doing a lot of things well, but that questionable run defense (8.5 rushing first downs allowed/game) is catching up with them. Last Week: 8, 14.722

14. Miami (8.234): The Dolphins begin the section of teams that are just kind of "there." They aren't really bad, but they're not really good, so there isn't much to say about them. The one thing worth mentioning is that their pass defense is allowing a league-best 5.6 yards per pass attempt, which is nothing to sneeze at. Last Week: 20, 5.613

15. Kansas City (8.102): What a great win for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Go into San Diego and take down the hottest team in the NFL. There's a reason they are still down here though - the defense is nothing really special and Alex Smith is still taking a beating (2.7 sacks allowed/game). Last Week: 16, 7.636

16. Houston (7.449): The Texans are playing all their games tough, but they aren't quite there yet. Nothing jumps off the stat sheet, so they'll probably need another season to put it all together. Last Week: 14, 9.106

17. New Orleans (6.919): Drew Brees gave it his all on Sunday and had to watch as the Lions robbed them of a road win. Even so, it's time to accept the reality that this team isn't very good. Aside from their offensive line (8 rushing first downs per game, 1 sack allowed per game), nothing is really impressive about this team, including Brees (91.7 quarterback rating). Last Week: 17, 6.833

18. San Francisco (5.709): The Niners suffered the rare blowout loss, although it was at the hands of arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Unlike the Eagles, San Fran is not overcoming their losses on the offensive line (2.7 sacks allowed per game), but the defense is playing well enough that it should keep them competitive in most games. Last Week: 11, 12.006

19. New York Giants (4.433): The Giants were unable to topple the Cowboys from their high horse (see what I did there?), but their effort was enough to keep them from slipping farther down the rankings. Their numbers on the stat sheet are nothing more than "meh," and the 8 yards per attempt they allow opposing quarterbacks could even be considered alarming. Last Week: 19, 5.938

20. Pittsburgh (3.987): The Steelers won what was probably a must-win game in the suddenly competitive AFC North, but this just won't be their year. Especially if Big Ben keeps taking big sacks (2.9/game). Last Week: 24, 2.469

21. Buffalo (3.382): The Bills needed a comeback to beat the Vikings at home. And yet, they're winning, which is more than a lot of teams can say. Their pass defense (90.4 quarterback rating allowed) is just good enough to keep them in games. Last Week: 21, 3.450

22. Chicago (3.343): Will the Bears ever get a home win this year? They better in time for the Cowboys game. The play of the front seven is good (6.1 rushing first downs allowed/game, 2.4 sacks/game), but not great, and the rest of the team is underperforming. Last Week: 18, 6.366

23. Atlanta (-0.162): The story of the Falcons hasn't changed. They've got a so-so offense and an awful defense. Forget Mike Nolan, that whole coaching staff may be gone by the end of the season. Last Week: 22, 3.279

24. Carolina (-0.639): The Panthers finally showed their true colors against the Packers, and it wasn't pretty. Somebody wake up Sean McDermott and remind him how to coach defense (100.3 opposing passer rating). Last Week: 23, 2.935

25. Washington (-1.327): So the Redskins beat the Titans. They still have no quarterback or defense and will probably find themselves in the NFC East basement for the foreseeable future. Last Week: 25, -2.536

26. Tennessee (-2.902): Surprisingly enough, the Titans do not really have any awful stats, but it hasn't translated into scoring offense or defense. Unfortunately for them, that's all that really matters in the NFL. Last Week: 26, -3.779

27. Minnesota (-4.168): The Vikings' turnover margin is -0.4/game and they are giving up an insane 3.9 sacks/game. Enough said. Last Week: 27, -5.314

28. St. Louis (-5.184): The Rams move up after their nice win over the Seahawks, but this team is still pretty bad. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging fewer than ten incompletions per game. Last Week: 29, -8.022

29. New York Jets (-7.327): The Jets also move up after their gutsy performance against the Patriots. But they're still near the bottom because of that abysmal 70.3 passer rating. Last Week: 30, -9.639

30. Oakland (-7.607): The Raiders are playing their opponents tough and aren't giving up just yet, but as long as quarterbacks can post a passer rating of 106.9 against them, they'll keep losing. Last Week: 28, -7.793

31. Jacksonville (-10.807): Progress! Don't look now, but here come the Jaguars. I think they'll get two more wins before the end of the season. Last Week: 32, -17.011

32. Tampa Bay (-12.256): This is where the Buccaneers find themselves as they near the halfway mark. I like Lovie Smith as a coach and hope that the front office gives him some time to get some talent on this team. Last Week: 31, -12.256

What do you think? Which teams were too high? Too low? Discuss in the comments below!

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