NFL power rankings: Steelers, 49ers, Titans keep climbing; Patriots, Eagles plummet into Week 7

And then there were three … and one. There are only three undefeated teams left in the 2020 NFL season coming out of Week 6, and the two AFC membes of the club, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, made different kind of statements. Their delayed matchup next Sunday now becomes a much more anticipated clash to see who’s better positioned to potentially dethrone Kansas City.

In our latest Sporting News power rankings, perfect Seattle doesn’t lose its No. 1 standing because of a bye, but there’s definitely a new worthy No. 2, with No. 4 rapidly pushing to challenge for the top spot, too. On the flip side, the Giants, Falcons and others separated a little from the Jets at the bottom and the middle had plenty of shakeup, too.

Here’s how we have all 32 teams stacking up against each other going into Week 7, the near midway point:

MORE: Updating the Tank for Trevor Lawrence tracker for Week 7

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NFL power rankings

1. Seattle Seahawks 5-0 (last week’s ranking: 1)

The Seahawks enjoyed a bye, the only way Russell Wilson’s MVP express train can slow down in 2020. Their offense will keep humming along in the running game and letting Russ cook, but some better health and concentrated adjustments would both really help the defense of Pete Carroll coming out.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-0 (3)

The Steelers left no doubt that they’re the best overall team in the AFC North by smashing the Browns, a week after handling the Eagles, a team that almost brought down the Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger is getting the job with a high floor of James Conner’s running. That defense is playing the way it should now, but losing Devin Bush is a big blow.

3. Kansas City Chiefs 4-1 (2)

The Chiefs don’t experience losing often with Patrick Mahomes. So it was good they had eight days to recover from their loss to the Raiders. Their passing game will be fine without Sammy Watkins and their running game and backfield production is about to get a whole lot better with Le’Veon Bell.

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4. Tennessee Titans 5-0 (8)

The Titans are a pesky team slowly developing into a dominant one under Mike Vrabel,, because they simply get the job done no matter what. Consider they were the ones who did last until the AFC championship against the Chiefs. Ryan Tannehill is in the zone plahing off Derrick Henry’s mighty running. The defense needs to get more consistent, however.

5. Baltimore Ravens 5-1 (4)

The Ravens have been struggling to traditionally run the ball and there are rather considerable limitations to their passing game. They have become more Lamar Jackson running dependent offensively and now Mark Ingram is on the shelf. Still, their defense is making all the plays they need in support.

6. Buffalo Bills 4-1 (5)

The Bills’ defense got exposed badly because of injuries in Week 5 at the Titans. That requires Josh Allen to keep leading with clean offensive play even ift the running continues to sputter. He won’t be curbed in trying to show off his bigger arm on the other side of Mahomes,

7. Green Bay Packers 4-1 (6)

What was that? The game in Tampa started off well but Aaron Rodgers succumbed to pressure with the running game shut down. The major defensive issues against running and short passing also surfaced.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-2 (10)

The Bucs nedded that defensive effort and diversified offense with Tom Brady to make a statement as rising new NFC title contenders. Brady’s influence on Bruce Arians can be seen with more of Brady’s kind of passing game and Tampa Bay quickly cleaning up penalty issues.

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9. New Orleans Saints 3-2 (11)

The Saints marched into a bye week with a big comeback win they needed over the Chargers. Figure Michael Thomas will be fully back mentally and physically to be an offensive game-changer for Drew Brees.

10. Chicago Bears 5-1 (13)

The Bears keep getting it done with a mix of defense, a commitment to running and just enough clutch passing from Nick Foles. As we’re still looking for style points, all they’re doing is winning in every which way they know how under Matt Nagy.

11. Los Angeles Rams 4-2 (7)

The Rams left a lot of plays on the table against a makeshift but gritty 49ers’ defense. They get to play the team right above them, the Bears, next Monday night for another good test for Jared Goff and the passing game.

12. San Francisco 49ers 3-3 (18)

The Niners needed to survive and grind that win away from the Rams to find some familiar success in the midst of a brutal schedule. The offense is inching back to full strength for Jimmy Garoppolo and the defense is finding different sources of reliability down several key pieces.

13. Cleveland Browns 4-2 (9)

The Browns got a wake-up call for Baker Mayfield’s struggles like they did in Week 1, as overmatched against the Steelers as they were against the Ravens. The defense won’t go away a concern with their linebacker snd safety issues behind Myles Garrett.

14. Las Vegas Raiders 3-2 (14)

The Raiders had a bye with which to enjoy their big win over Mahomes and the Chiefs with great offense. Now they’ll need to figure out how to keep it going opposite Brady and the Buccaneers in prime time.

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15. Indianapolis Colts 4-2 (17)

The Colts needed a big game from Philip Rivers to bail them out and he turned back the clock to come through against the Bengals. It was.a good development at the right time to boost their playoff potential again behind the AFC South-dominating Titans.

16. Arizona Cardinals 3-2 (16)

The Cardinals’ defense lost a big piece in Chandler Jones and they’re not getting enough plays being made, period. Kyler Murray and the offense need to get even more exposive, diverse and balanced to offset that.

17. Miami Dolphins 3-3 (20)

The Dolphins are being led well by Ryan Fitzpatrick and their offense is giving him plenty of help from the skill positions and rebuilt offensive line. But they need to get more credit defensively after multiple big performances with better health and smarter scheming from Brian Flores and Josh Boyer.

18. Carolina Panthers 3-3 (15)

The Panthers came down to earth as they struggled to finish against the strong Bears defense and their run defense continues to be a big bugaboo. The tests will get harder soon with the Saints, Chiefs and Buccaneers as three of their next four opponents.

19. Dallas Cowboys 2-3 (19)

The Cowboys will see what they will get from Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback going forward. They should keep passing well and putting up big points, but the question is whether their defense can improve with Leighton Vander Esch returning.

20. Denver Broncos 2-3 (29)

The Broncos got Drew Lock back and he didn’t play well, but thanks to their defense and running game, without Melvin Gordon, Vic Fangio’s team grinded to an unlikely victory in New England. They can get back into the division playoff mix with the Chiefs and Chargers next.

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21. New England Patriots 2-3 (12)

Who are these Patriots? They have a very good defense with some potential in the traditional running game, but there’s too much on Cam Newton to save the day with a limited receiving corps and breaking-down blocking. There’s no time to take it easy and figure it out with the 49ers and the Bills next.

22. Detroit Lions 2-3 (25)

The Lions needed a win badly coming out of the bye for Matt Patricia and their defense, passing game and dynamic rookie D’Andre Swift all were key in taking care of a lesser Jaguars team. Don’t sleep on them getting back in the NFC wild-card race with a favorable schedule ahead.

23. Philadelphia Eagles 1-4-1 (21)

The Eagles got another gritty performance from Carson Wentz to give themselves a chance against the Ravens, but they still have too many issues around him and have just enough lapses defensively because of their linebacker corps.

24. Minnesota Vikings 1-5 (22)

What was that? When Kirk Cousins turns over the ball multiple times and the Vikings dig themselves a big hole, they’re not built to get out of it, because they get away from their running game strengths to protect the defense. With the Packers and Bears rolling, the Vikings can stick a fork in their playoff hopes.

25. Cincinnati Bengals 1-4-1 (23)

The Bengals couldn’t finish against the Colts because of their consistent, fundamental issues on the offensive line and defensive front seven. Joe Burrow keeps impressing through every loss, even when he makes mistakes.

26. Los Angeles Chargers 1-4 (24)

The Chargers keep losing close games and let’s hope they used their bye to figure out how to finish better with Justin Herbert now completely in control of the offense. Getting the Jaguars next helps.

27. Atlanta Falcons 1-5 (30)

The Falcons won one for interim coach Raheem Morris because they didn’t step off the gas offensively with Julio Jones returning just in time to smash an awful Vikings secondary. The defense also seem to be a little more inspired, too. Matt Ryan really needed that slump buster, too.

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28. New York Giants 1-5 (31)

The Giants have been knocking on the door of victories under Joe Judge and finally broke through against a weaker division foe in Washington. Having no real running game has hurt the chances of everything else getting better, including Daniel Jones.

29. Houston Texans 1-5 (27)

Deshaun Watson has the Texans’ offense back on track and using all of its key weapons. They’re really doing as much as possible on the scoreboard because the defense isn’t capable of helping against either run or pass.

IYER: Jets staring at strong chance to go 0-16 with Gase

30. Washington Football Team 1-5 (26)

Kyle Allen gave Washington more offensive life, but the fundamental issues and limitations still cost the team against the Giants. The defense can only overachieve for so long.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-5 (28)

The Jaguars are trying their best to show offensive life with Gardner Minshew and impressive rookies Laviska Shenault Jr. and James Robinson, but there depleted defense doesn’t give them much of a chance every week.

32. New York Jets 0-6 (32)

The Jets keep finding new lows as Adam Gase saw his current team shut out by his former team, the Dolphins. At least Le’Veon Bell isn’t part of this mess anymore. 

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