Now that Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up entering Week 8. Even more power rankings discussion in this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.
BLG’S WEEK 8 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 1) - The Cards covered a 20-point spread in a predictable blowout win over the team that’s dead last in these rankings. Arizona saw immediate benefits from the Zach Ertz trade with the veteran tight end logging the longest touchdown reception of his career. He must be so happy not to be dealing with the Eagles’ BS anymore.
2 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 2) - The Rams allowed an onside kick recovery and two fake punt conversions ... and still won by two possessions. The Matthew Stafford trade has easily justified the cost thus far.
3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 4) - 602 career passing touchdowns for Tom Brady. Add in 26 rushing scores and it’s a grand total of 628. That’s 3,768 points (not including PATs) he’s generated in his career. Decent.
4 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 5) - The Bills return from their bye to face Miami, Jacksonville, and NYJ. That’s an easy path to 7-2.
5 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 6) - Their Week 7 win was closer than the score indicates. Green Bay was fortunate that Washington turned the ball over on downs on consecutive drives in goal-to-go territory. Even if it was closer, though, we all know Aaron Rodgers would’ve ultimately come through. The Packers now face their toughest test since they’ll be without Davante Adams against Arizona on Thursday Night Football.
6 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 7) - The Cowboys were on their bye. With the rest of the NFC East floundering, Dallas can realistically clinch the division by Week 14.
7 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 11) - Beating the Ravens by 24 points in Baltimore? Signature win by Joe Burrow. Statement win by the Bengals. They’re arrived and they’re not to be taken lightly. They might be able to shock everyone and win the AFC North. Especially with Ja’Marr Chase cooking like the way he is. The dude demolished one of the NFL’s better cornerbacks in Marlon Humphrey. Chase ranks second only behind Cooper Kupp in receiving and leads the league in yards per reception. Don’t sleep on Cincy.
9 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 13) - Don’t look now but the Titans have back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Kansas City. And, sure, the Chiefs aren’t THE Chiefs anymore. Still, they handed Patrick Mahomes his worst loss ever. So weird that this is the same team that lost to the friggin Jets just earlier this month.
10 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 8) - The Chargers return from their bye with some winnable games ahead. They have a favorable path to staying atop the AFC West.
11 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 10) - No Baker Mayfield, no problem. Case Keenum is a capable backup and AAF legend D’Ernest Johnson was able to give Cleveland a boost. The Browns’ ability to seriously contend for a championship is in question but they’re still a playoff threat.
12 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 12) - The Raiders sure aren’t missing Jon Gruden. They’ve thoroughly outplayed their opponents since he resigned in disgrace. Derek Carr is red hot and the defense is respectable with Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby creating disruption on the edges. The Raiders might be looking at their first playoff appearance since January 2017. Can they get their first playoff win since January 2003?
13 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 9) - Sometimes it’s just your year. This clearly isn’t it for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes has struggled in two of his last three games, both of which have resulted in blowout losses for KC. Everyone should know that Andy Reid has the ability to right the ship. It’s impossible to count this team out entirely. But the likelihood is they won’t be winning a title this year, making the season a failure.
14 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 16) - Demario Davis led a strong performance by the Saints’ defense to help New Orleans advance to 2-4. With games against ATL (twice), PHI, CAR, NYJ, and MIA remaining, it’s not crazy to think the Saints could get to 10-7 and earn a wild card spot. They won’t do anything in the postseason with Jameis Winston under center, of course. But, hey, they can get there.
15 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 15) - The Vikings return from their bye to face Dallas on Sunday Night Football. Kirk Cousins always comes up in big spots on primetime, so this should be an easy win for Minnesota. (Not really.)
16 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 17) - The Stillers return from their bye to face Cleveland. This will be a good test to see where both of these teams are really at right now. Big AFC playoff picture implications.
17 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 21) - The Colts have won three of their last four, albeit against pretty nonthreatening quarterbacks (Jacoby Brisset, Davis Mills, Jimmy Garoppolo). Can Indy now beat Tennessee to stay alive for the AFC South crown? The Colts really need Carson Wentz to come through and justify the 2022 first-round pick they’re likely sending to Philly.
19 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 14) - After losing four straight, I think it’s safe to say the 49ers are done. They’re going to finish in third place in the NFC West at best. And Kyle Shanahan still seems intent on playing Jimmy G, who stinks, for some reason. A very overrated coach. Shanny is on pace to produce his fourth double-digit loss season in five years on the job in San Fran.
20 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 18) - The Seahawks have put forth good effort while missing Russell Wilson. But they’re just not going to be able to win much with Geno Smith under center. It’s getting late early in Seattle. The way things are going might pave the way for Russ’s exit. Seattle should considering trading him to Philly. Just my totally unbiased take on their situation.
21 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 19) - The Sam Darnold trade was a disaster. The Panthers really wanted Deshaun Watson in the offseason but realized they might not be able to get him. So they gave up a second-round pick, a fourth-round pick, and a sixth-round pick for a really bad quarterback instead. Total panic move that unsurprisingly didn’t pay off. And now the Panthers are revisiting acquiring Watson.
Takeaway from the Sam Darnold situation: stop making so many excuses for bad QBs.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 24, 2021
“Oh, he was only bad because he was on the Jets. Or because he was with Gase.”
Sometimes players just aren’t good. Seems to be harder for people to accept than coaches being bad.
22 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 26) - It looked like the Falcons might be the worst team in the NFL after getting blown out in Week 1. All of a sudden they’re 3-3 and eighth in the NFC playoff picture. Will the winning continue? Eh. They’ve only beaten the Giants, Jets, and Dolphins, so maybe not. But, hey, they’re not as bad as the league’s very worst teams!
23 - Denver Broncos (LW: 22) - Teddy Bridgewater isn’t the answer and neither is Drew Lock. The Broncos continue to be stuck in quarterback purgatory. Vic Fangio might not get the time to find the answer.
24 - New York Giants (LW: 28) - The Giants winning was one of the more shocking developments in Week 7. They sucked for most of the game before pulling away at the end. I don’t think this victory was about New York suddenly finding the right track as much as it was Darnold just being pitiful, though.
25 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 23) - The Eagles STINK. They’re a bad, boring, and downright irrelevant football team with an overly involved owner, an uninspiring front office, an overmatched coaching staff, a limited starting quarterback, and an unremarkable roster. It’s entirely feasible that they could lose to a winless Lions team in Detroit this weekend. Such a result might honestly be what’s best for the franchise. A wake-up call is well overdue.
26 - Chicago Bears (LW: 24) - Justin Fields does one good thing, everyone freaks out. Justin Fields struggles for multiple weeks in a row, no one says boo. The purported rookie sensation has two touchdown passes to 12 combined interceptions and fumbles this season. He’s also taken 22 sacks. Make all the excuses you want. The reality is he’s nowhere near as good as the hype made him out to be.
27 - Washington Football Team (LW: 25) - The Football Team had a touchdown wiped out by the NFL’s dumb rule that’s designed to protect quarterbacks but has instead sometimes robbed them of getting touchdowns. Washington gave a good effort in Green Bay but it wasn’t enough and now they’re 2-5. Season over.
28 - New York Jets (LW: 27) - Yet another miserable Jets season gets worse with Zach Wilson now injured. Now Jets fans have to watch Joe Flacco again. Really dumb trade by Joe Douglas to give up what might be a top 150 pick for a 36-year-old stop gap in a lost season.
29 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29) - The Jags haven’t lost in two weeks! They return from their bye to face Seattle. Maybe they can beat Geno Smith? Probably not. But ... maybe?
30 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 30) - The Dolphins are in a terrible spot after falling to 1-6 with a game against Buffalo up next. They’re staring 1-7 in the face. And they’re going to be sending their very high 2022 first-round pick to Philly. A Deshaun Watson trade might stop the bleeding from an on-field standpoint ... but certainly not from an off-field perspective.
31 - Detroit Lions (LW: 31) - The Lions might be one of the best 0-7 teams you’ll ever see? Dan Campbell coaches pretty aggressively (in a smart way) and his team really fights. It wouldn’t be shocking if they picked up their first win of the season against Philly. They’re due for a victory at some point with the way they’ve been playing.
32 - Houston Texans (LW: 32) - The Texans are just downright pitiful. They might have a chance to win another game or two if/when Tyrod Taylor returns. Until then, they’re a free win for their opponent.