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Week 7 NFL power rankings: 49ers and Eagles drop, Detroit Lions at No. 1

As Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, football fans can only look on in disbelief. After a Sunday that saw both the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles go down, the Week 7 NFL power rankings and the landscape of contenders have shifted dramatically.

Everyone will be talking about the stunning upsets by the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets, deservedly so. However, in that same Week 6 slate, we saw the Cincinnati Bengals potentially turn their season around all while the Detroit Lions might’ve just proven they’re the best team in the NFL.

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Let’s dive into the latest NFL power rankings after Week 6.

Week 7 NFL power rankings: Worst NFL teams in 2023

32. Carolina Panthers

  • Previously: Last in NFL power rankings

The Carolina Panthers are the only witness team in the NFL and are easily the worst NFL team in 2023. Fortunately, quarterback Bryce Young did show some nice flashes across multiple drives for the first time this season. With that said, Carolina still seems like it’s a dozen players away from even approaching watchable status.

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31. New England Patriots

  • Previously: 30th in NFL power rankings

At this point, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has no other choice. Bill Belichick built this entire roster, he hand-picked his coaching staff and everything he believes in is ingrained in the Patriots’ DNA. It’s also why New England is one of the NFL’s most unwatchable teams in 2023. At this point, the Patriots should be tanking for Drake Maye and Belichick shouldn’t have the opportunity to coach him.

Related: New England Patriots coaching candidates

30. Chicago Bears

  • Previously: 31st in NFL power rankings

The Chicago Bears offense falls apart quickly without Justin Fields and Khalil Herbert. Unfortunately, Herbert won’t return anytime soon and Fields’ status for Week 7 is unknown. Safe to say next Sunday’s matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders is one we all can avoid, especially if Fields is out.

29. New York Giants

  • Previously: 29th in NFL power rankings

The New York Giants showed on Monday Night Football that they aren’t throwing in the towel nor has the effort level changed despite the massively disappointing start to the season. It still appears as if the Giants will be picking near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft, but at least Week 6 demonstrated there are plenty of competitive games ahead for New York.

Related: Week 8 college football rankings

28. Denver Broncos

  • Previously: 28th in NFL power rankings

The Denver Broncos are officially in seller mode and this team is obviously worse than it was under Nathaniel Hackett. Sean Payton will get to avoid the blame, with quarterback Russell Wilson and general manager George Paton likely used as the fall guys in Denver. However, Payton’s reputation should take a hit in 2023 because he’s done very little positive for the Broncos and is hard-line approach hasn’t produced anything but losses.

Related: NFL coaching hot seat 2023

27. Tennessee Titans

  • Previously: 23rd in NFL power rankings

If Ryan Tannehill is out long-term, an already mediocre Tennessee Titans team will get so much worse. While Malik Willis was thrown into an awful situation, he played like a magnet drawn to defenders. With Tennesse’s defense also becoming a bigger problem, we’re getting closer to rebuilding territory.

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26. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Previously: 25th in NFL power rankings

Forgive us if we’re not impressed by the Las Vegas Raiders narrowly beating the Patriots in Week 6. Josh Jacobs looked good, Michael Mayer is emerging as a core piece of this offense and Jakobi Meyers delivered some well-earned revenge. However, nothing Las Vegas showed on the field in Week 6 nor its 3-3 record should make owner Mark Davis think Josh McDaniels is turning things around.

Related: Josh McDaniels reportedly on the hot seat

25. Arizona Cardinals

  • Previously: 27th in NFL power rankings

As always, it’s the same story with the Arizona Cardinals. They show fight in the first half and then it all starts to unravel, this time demonstrated by 20 second-half points allowed to the Los Angeles Rams. Of course, the Cardinals were always rebuilding so these losses just mean a higher draft pick and that’s a win.

Related: New York Jets reportedly shopping two players, scouring trade market

24. Indianapolis Colts

  • Previously: 23rd in NFL power rankings

Gardner Minshew is a solid fill-in starter for a few weeks. Once defenses get time to game plan for him, it goes downhill very quickly. Unfortunately for the Indianapolis Colts, rookie Anthony Richardson is done for the season. Given the organization’s long-term injury concerns with Richardson, though, perhaps it’s for the best Richardson will be protected. As for the Colts moving forward, it’s now all about draft positioning.

23. Minnesota Vikings

  • Previously: 26th in NFL power rankings

The Minnesota Vikings are starting to climb their way up the NFL standings, but two wins in three weeks is entirely a result of facing two of the NFL’s worst teams. After defeating the Bears and Panthers, Minnesota now must prepare for a slate against the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. With Justin Jefferson on IR, 0-4 is possible during that stretch.

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22. Green Bay Packers

  • Previously: 20th in NFL power rankings

If the Green Bay Packers couldn’t beat the Raiders, there are no guarantees they can even defeat Denver on the road in Week 7. Inexperience and injuries are undeniably a part of the Packers’ problems. Unfortunately for Green Bay’s fans, this also isn’t a well-coached team right now on either side of the football. Combine bad decision-making from the sideline with recurring mistakes from young players on the field, you have a team that will struggle to win games on any given week regardless of the opponent.

Related: Heisman Watch 2023

2023 NFL power rankings: Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets soar

21. Washington Commanders

  • Previously: 22nd in NFL power rankings

The Washington Commanders offense remains aggravating. Sam Howell has his moments, but he’s on pace to shatter the single-season NFL sack record because he holds onto the football and plays the role of a statue in the pocket like no other. We also can’t explain a system where Jahan Dotson, a standout rookie in 2022, finishes with just one target. As for the Commanders’ defense, the secondary will always hold it back.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Previously: 19th in NFL power rankings

While it is better to to lucky than good, fortune is really saving the Pittsburgh Steelers right now. Fumbles returned for touchdowns and opponents repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot are responsible for two of the Steelers’ victories in 2023. With the AFC getting stronger, Pittsburgh could easily be one of the worst teams in the conference moving forward.

Related: Pittsburgh Steelers held team meeting over bye week, latest on Matt Canada

19. New Orleans Saints

  • Previously: 15th in NFL power rankings

It seems laughable with hindsight that anyone thought the New Orleans Saints could reach double-digit wins in 2023, even with the perceived easiest schedule in football. Derek Carr teeters on the brink of being an average starting quarterback each week and the Saints’ offensive line isn’t good enough to elevate him even further. While we love the Saints’ skill players and the defense in New Orleans is a treat to watch, it’s the coaching, quarterback and offensive line that might ultimately sink the Saints.

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18. New York Jets

  • Previously: 21st in NFL power rankings

Sunday was the latest example of just how phenomenal this New York Jets defense is, even with its top cornerbacks sidelined. Zach Wilson didn’t truly contribute to the win in Week 6, but he doesn’t need to when Garrett Wilson shows why he’s a WR1 and New York’s defense picks off Jalen Hurts twice. Of course, this victory is also a reminder of the “What if?” that will define the Jets’ 2023 season, as we can only imagine how good this team would’ve been with a healthy Aaron Rodgers.

Related: New York Jets reportedly shopping two players, scouring trade market

17. Atlanta Falcons

  • Previously: 14th in NFL power rankings

The Desmond Ridder experience has to be painful for everyone in Atlanta. Arthur Smith’s reaction to the game-sealing interception further highlighted why this offense will always be severely limited by its quarterback. That’s not to say Ridder won’t have flashes that make you think he could be a bridge quarterback in the NFL, it’s just that those moments are so sporadic that the dumbfounding decisions and poor throws are easier to remember. Atlanta still has a chance at winning the NFC South, but it won’t be pretty and the same goes for the Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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16. Los Angeles Rams

  • Previously: 17th in NFL power rankings

It took some time for the Los Angeles Rams to find its rhythm, but things ended quickly once Matthew Stafford and Co. got rolling. The win perfectly captured the Rams, a team that keeps things competitive against just about any team it faces and rarely records style points in wins. With a 3-3 record and the Steelers coming to town in Week 7, Los Angeles has a great shot at a winning record through seven games.

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15. Houston Texans

  • Previously: 18th in NFL power rankings

Keep buying stock in the Houston Texans. While C.J. Stroud arguably had the worst performance of his career, throwing his first interception, he made some sharp throws in critical moments. Plus, the Texans’ defense stepped up after it let the team down a bit in the Week 5 loss. We won’t see the Texans again until Week 8, but DeMeco Ryans is doing everything you want to see with this young team.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Previously: 13th in NFL power rankings

It’s quite different when you face one of the teams near the top of the NFL’s hierarchy. Even with the Detroit Lions forced to roll with their third-string running back in Week 6, they controlled Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Falcons and Saints both losing, however, Tampa Bay is still in firm control of the division.

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13. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Previously: 13th in NFL power rankings

The Los Angeles Chargers have one opportunity to prove they could still be a legitimate contender. Austin Ekeler is back in Week 6 and the Dallas Cowboys just showed they can beat on both sides of the ball. However, we tend to bet on history and Brandon Staley’s track record doesn’t bode well for the Chargers’ chances of winning on Monday Night Football.

Related: Kellen Moore talks revenge game vs Dallas Cowboys

12. Seattle Seahawks

  • Previously: 8th in NFL power rankings

The Seattle Seahawks offensive line is a big concern. We can attribute some issues to Charles Cross needing to shake off rust in his first start back, but Geno Smith never had a chance for a game-winning touchdown because of the turnstiles in front of him. Fortunately, the Seahawks’ defense, offensive weapons and quarterback are more than enough to take out Arizona in Week 7, which would mean a 4-2 record.

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11. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Previously: 16th in NFL power rankings

We thought the Cincinnati Bengals were done after they got walked off the field by Tennessee. Instead, Joe Burrow’s calf healed at an almost miraculous rate and the Bengals’ defense elevated its game significantly. Sunday’s victory over Seattle pushes Cincinnati back into the conversation to win the AFC North. Plus, that bye week allows for its biggest stars to receive some much-needed rest. The Bengals could be very dangerous in the second half of the season.

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NFL power rankings after Week 6: Best NFL teams right now

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 10th in NFL power rankings

At 4-2, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the driver’s seat for the division and have full control of their own destiny. However, it’s hard to argue this team belongs anywhere near the conversation with the best teams in football. Trevor Lawrence is approaching elite status, but the play-calling and inconsistency from this offense feel like they will bite the Jaguars in big spots. If Lawrence’s injury is serious, Jacksonville is in grave danger moving forward.

9. Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 6 in NFL power rankings

The Dallas Cowboys offense is worse than it was with Kellen Moore and with Trevon Diggs out for the year, this defense will also have more bad games. That’s not to suggest Dallas isn’t a very good team, it still has one of the best rosters in the NFL. However, a lack of trust in the quarterback and head coach all with injuries on the offensive line puts the Cowboys below the other top NFL teams.

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8. Cleveland Browns

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 11 in NFL power rankings

The Cleveland Browns benefitted from a lot of breaks in Week 6, but they did what no other NFL team could do by beating Brock Purdy in the regular season. We still aren’t sold on the Browns’ offense, even with Deshaun Watson, but Cleveland’s defense alone gives it a chance to host a playoff game as division champs.

7. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 3 in NFL power rankings

There’s a reason very few were willing to put the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFL power rankings. For one thing, the Eagles’ secondary has statistically been one of the worst in football this season. To make matters worse, the offense has been scraping by with victories despite alarming inconsistency and it was always apparent in the red zone. This might be the wake-up call Philadelphia needs, but this team doesn’t feel like it’s even on the same continent as the club that won that nearly won the Super Bowl a few months ago.

6. Baltimore Ravens

NFL: London Games-Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 8 in NFL power rankings

The Baltimore Ravens offense still has a lot of issues. In Week 7, Rashod Bateman’s effort on a route likely played a role in Lamar Jackson’s interceptions and these wide receivers didn’t get nearly as open as they should’ve against the Titans’ secondary. Yet, the bigger issue might be play-caller Todd Monken running the red-zone offense as if Greg Roman is still in the building. Baltimore still has one of the highest ceilings in the NFL, but it keeps getting in its own way.

Related: Lamar Jackson makes NFL history in Week 6

5. Buffalo Bills

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle
Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 7 in NFL power rankings

Sunday Night Football doesn’t change the facts. The Buffalo Bills can go extremely far with Josh Allen, but season-ending injuries on the defensive side make reaching the Super Bowl improbable. It’s certainly possible that other contenders for the Lombardi Trophy will suffer the magnitude of injuries Buffalo’s defense has gone through. Until that happens, though, the Bills are a tier below the cream of the crop.

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4. Miami Dolphins

Syndication: Palm Beach Post
  • Previously: No. 5 in NFL power rankings

After finding themselves in an unexpected 14-0 hole, the Miami Dolphins offense showed up and kindly walked the Carolina Panthers defense out of the stadium. Just another typical Sunday for the best offense in football. Miami’s defense remains the reason we aren’t quite convinced this can be the best team in the AFC, but that could change in a few wees when Jalen Ramsey returns.

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3. San Francisco 49ers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 1 in NFL power rankings

Brock Purdy experienced a loss for the first time as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback with the worst performance of his career. Of course, the bigger worry for Kyle Shanahan is all the injuries that piled up in Week 6. Updates on Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel will have a lot of impact on the 49ers’ chances moving forward. If everything checks out, San Francisco’s reputation as one of the NFL’s best teams shouldn’t change.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 2 in NFL power rankings

If the Kansas City Chiefs offense wasn’t struggling right now, there’s no question they would be atop the NFL power rankings. Thankfully for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City’s defense is carrying the roster like it hasn’t done previously in the Mahomes era. The Chiefs’ offense might not return to its former glory, not with this receiving corps, but it still looks like the best team in the AFC.

1. Detroit Lions

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 4 in NFL power rankings

The Detroit Lions are the most well-rounded team in the NFL. Through five games, Detroit’s defense is nearly playing like a top-five unit under defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Even without running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta have proven they can put this offense on their shoulders even on the road. Week 6 firmly convinced us the Lions are the best team in football right now.

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