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Week 7 Power Rankings

The Big 10 used to have good athletes.

At 6-1, Houston is sitting pretty atop the AFC. They have to be the Super Bowl favorite right now, as they’re the most likely team in either conference to wrap up the 1 seed and they won’t have to go through two very good teams to get to New Orleans. In addition, they’re also really, really good.

Things are muddy in the NFC, and we get another NFC East showdown this week between the Giants and Cowboys. A New York win would open up a three-game lead over Dallas, but that would make things way too smooth in New York. The Atlanta Falcons already have a four-game lead in the NFC South, but it won’t take much for them to slip and miss out on a bye. The Packers, Bears and Vikings all look like playoff teams; Chicago might be the favorite to win the division right now, but these teams still play each other 5 more times. The NFC West looks like a competitive division but one that everyone assumes the 49ers will win. A Cardinals upset this weekend would send ripple effects throughout the conference. We’re in for a treat, as that’s the Monday Night game this week, and I expect the Cardinals to play well despite the three-game losing streak.

[As always, the number of wins I’m projecting each team to finish the season with is in column 3. The fourth column – PWIN – shows how many wins I projected last week, and the difference column represents how many wins I added or subtracted this week. The “RSOS” column stands for the remaining SOS for the team, based on the number of projected wins I’m giving to each of their opponents. The “RHG” column stands for remaining home games.]

Team
Rec
Wins
PrvWin
Diff
RemSOS
RemHG
Comment
Houston Texans6-1121200.4584The Texans the clear best team in the AFC; projecting only 12 wins includes a potential loss when they rest starters.
Atlanta Falcons6-0121200.4385Atlanta hasn't had a difficult schedule to date, but the schedule isn't that challenging the rest of the way, either.
San Francisco 49ers5-2121110.5144I keep going back and forth on the 49ers, from 11 to 12 to 11 and now back to 12 wins. But no matter how you say it, they're elite.
Chicago Bears5-1111100.5255A good win against the Lions, but I'm not ready to project a 7-3 finish. Two games with Minnesota, and games left against SF, Hou and GB make 12 wins an uphill battle.
Denver Broncos3-3111100.3945Good news: the Broncos didn't lose a close game after a crazy 4th quarter rally last week. Denver has by far the easiest remaining schedule in the league.
New England Patriots4-3101000.5075The Patriots made Mark Sanchez look good last week. Two games against Miami and a rematch with the Jets doesn't look so easy anymore, not to mention the games still against Houston and San Francisco.
Baltimore Ravens5-2101000.5004I dropped the Ravens a win last week despite the fact that they had just defeated Dallas; can they go 5-4 against a mediocre schedule the rest of the way? Probably.
Green Bay Packers4-3101000.4655The Packers are back, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to call them 7-2 the rest of the way good.
New York Giants5-210910.5494Giants got a big win against the Redskins, and look like the class of the division. We'll see if Dallas can change that.
Pittsburgh Steelers3-39900.4636Pittsburgh took care of business against Cincinnati, but I think we'll see a couple more Raiders-like slip-ups the rest of the way.
Miami Dolphins3-39900.4885Miami is the 4th or 5th best team in the AFC according to nearly every advanced stats metric out there.
Seattle Seahawks4-39900.5075Can't get too disappointed with a loss in San Francisco on a short week, but a loss in Detroit this weekend will be damaging.
Minnesota Vikings5-28800.5694The Vikings face Green Bay and Chicago twice along with Houston in their last six games; they must take care of business against Tampa Bay this weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles3-38800.4945Last week did not feel right without an Eagles meltdown.
San Diego Chargers3-38800.4385Last week did not feel right without a Chargers meltdown.
Dallas Cowboys3-38800.5066Cowboys could flip the script by sweeping the Giants this year and stealing the division. Game of the season for the Cowboys, and 98% of the nation will get to watch (sorry
Washington Redskins3-48800.4865Redskins went on the road against an elite team and nearly won; they don't drop a game for that.
Arizona Cardinals4-378-10.5974Did you know the Arizona Cardinals are 11-5 in their last 16 games? Oh, and the Cardinals have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL.
New York Jets3-478-10.4654A great effort against the Patriots, but I'm not ready to say this team has turned things around. I don't expect them to beat Miami.
Cincinnati Bengals3-47700.5215Just think: three weeks ago, the Bengals were 3-1 with two home games sandwiched around a trip to Cleveland.
New Orleans Saints2-47700.5635With a difficult schedule in front of them, I'm not ready to put New Orleans even at 8-8 despite the fact that they're playing like a playoff team.
St. Louis Rams3-47700.5354A loss against the Packers isn't going to drop many teams.
Indianapolis Colts3-37610.4884A win at home against Cleveland is essentially holding serve, but I think they can go 4-6 against a workable schedule.
Tennessee Titans3-47610.4935I'm pretty sure this team is still garbage - they've been outscored by 89 points - and I don't expect them to beat Indianapolis this weekend.
Buffalo Bills3-467-10.5145Buffalo is really bad.
Detroit Lions2-46600.5636A loss in Chicago doesn't change my outlook on Detroit: a mediocre team with a brutal schedule.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers2-46600.5254A tough home loss to the Saints but I don't think Tampa Bay is that far from being a good team. A 95-yard pass helps, but Josh Freeman is 2nd in the NFL in ANY/A, NY/A and Y/A.
Oakland Raiders2-46510.4255How is Darren McFadden healthy but terrible? An easy schedule should make Oakland a 6-win team.
Carolina Panthers1-556-10.5134I don't really know when the bleeding will end, but in Chicago this weekend doesn't seem like the answer to that question.
Kansas City Chiefs1-55500.4635Romeo Crennel didn't go for it once on 4th down last week, and he probably won't this week, either.
Jacksonville Jaguars1-545-10.5065Things are not good in Jacksonville, as a loss to the Raiders was combined with injuries to Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert.
Cleveland Browns1-64400.5145Pat Shurmur hates winning.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Ben October 25, 2012, 12:53 am

    Those numbers on Josh Freeman are interesting, do you think they could be somewhat due to a largely downfield passing attack (ie mostly longer throws)? I’ve only watched him when he played the Cowboys but I definitely wasn’t impressed from what I saw.

    • Chase Stuart October 25, 2012, 9:20 am

      Freeman does lead the league in yards per completion, and ranks well in both TD% and sack rate. His completion percentage is 31st, which is oddly low for a guy who ranks 2nd in Y/A.

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