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NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Denver is still better than you think

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

There are now five undefeated teams left in the NFL and only two of them play in week 7, so these Power Rankings have all kind of potential for upset.

It's my one-time bi-annual Power Rankings fill-in, dig in!

Here are last week's NFL power rankings!

New England Patriots

Record 5-0. I wasn't among those that felt that New England was going to run the table with Indianapolis and even late into the game I felt like there were still chances for the Patriots to slip, but they found a way to win and convincingly. Where is the achilles heel on this team? The Patriots have not played a defense of note yet, but that changes this weekend when New York enters Gillette stadium with the fifth best turnover ratio in the NFL.

Denver Broncos

Record 6-0. Last week I had the Broncos as the second best team in the NFL. "The Broncos will beat whatever team you put against them right now, it doesn't matter how. Defense, offense, field goals, special teams-- this is kicking and screaming." I'd love to move them down this list, but I have yet to see anyone beat them. I will say that the Denver week 6 running game was a facade, Cleveland entered the game as the third worst defense against the run, Denver ran on them. So the offensive line is not fixed, it's still patch-work, but has two weeks to prepare for Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews who are both in the top five in the NFL for individual sacks. However, I'll take Denver's defense against anyone right now, even Aaron Rodgers. This game in two weeks will either silence or justify the Peyton Manning hate.

Green Bay Packers

Record 6-0. San Diego gave Green Bay all that they could handle and the game came down to a goal line stand that saw some iffy play calling on behalf of San Diego. The Packers were a popular preseason Super Bowl choice, so it's weird seeing them at 3 I know, but when Green Bay had trouble this weekend I went to their schedule... They haven't played a team with a winning record either. So, much like the Broncos, we will know who the Packers are in about three weeks, coming out of the bye they have a game in Denver and in Carolina. Those are two defenses that play for keeps.

Carolina Panthers

Record 5-0. This is the least likely thing that I had last weekend, the Panthers have won the most consecutive regular season games dating back to last season... They haven't lost in the regular season since Thanksgiving. Cam Newton is bottom of the barrel (but still ahead of Peyton) in nearly every significant category except interceptions (he has only 4 on the season). The Panthers aren't doing it on the back of Jonathan Stewart either, he's currently 19th in the NFL in rushing. It's just defense and a +6 in take-aways/give-aways (tied for first with Denver, Green Bay and Pittsburgh). The Panthers get Philadelphia on Sunday night this week.

Cincinnati Bengals

Record 6-0. The Bengals are 6-0 for only the third time in franchise history. Andy Dalton threw three touchdowns on Sunday, pushing the NFL's 9th worst defense against quarterbacks much closer to worst. Cincinnati will see it's second big test of the season next Sunday when they fly to Pittsburgh and face either Ben Roethlisberger or Landry Jones. So that could go one of two ways.

New York Jets

Record 4-1. The Jets have quietly become one of the top teams in the AFC. With a win this weekend against the Patriots the Jets can probably be considered the best team in the NFL and who even has them on their radar? I certainly didn't have them pegged. I expected the AFC East to be the best division in football and maybe last weekend was the weekend that they began proving it. Whichever AFC East team is knocked out of the playoffs, the rest of the AFC will owe a thanks to the Jets.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Record 4-2. The Steelers laid the smack down reminding Bruce Arians why they let him go as an offensive coordinator in 2011. Not before Arians and the Cardinals made that Pittsburgh smack down even more sweet via Arizona's first half defensive domination. As of Tuesday morning the word on whether Ben Roethlisberger will return this week in Kansas City or next week at home against Cincinnati. It doesn't seem to matter as Mike Vick is injured and Landry Jones seemed to be on from the moment that he touched the ball. A perfect backup quarterback that has shown even with limited snaps he is justified in leading this incredible offense. This team at full strength against anyone is going to be very tough to beat.

Atlanta Falcons

Record 5-1. New Orleans finally snapped back at Atlanta via a connection between Drew Brees and Benjamin Watson that was seemingly unstoppable. The Falcons have enjoyed the breakout season of Devonta Freeman, but his de-escalation in touches does not point to anything specifically, he still managed two touchdowns on the least amount of attempts that he's had this season. Then rookie Tevin Coleman averages 10-yards per carry in relief of Freeman last week. There aren't a lot of tough games ahead for Atlanta and they don't draw either game against Carolina until late in the season. It may behoove them to get both Freeman and Julio Jones a little less featured in this offense in the meantime to insure post season domination.

Arizona Cardinals

Record 4-2. Well, that was a good run. The Cardinals got whooped by third string quarterback Landry Jones and Martavis Bryant. To be fair, Arizona did own the entire first half, Mike Vick completed just 3 of 8 passes before being injured early in the third quarter. Carson Palmer found John Brown for 196 of his 421 yards, but the league's fifth most efficient passer could only find one touchdown. Arizona still has two games against the Seahawks, but short of a mid-season meltdown they should be in the playoffs representing the NFC West.

Philadelphia Eagles

Record 3-3. Philadelphia's defense gave Eli Manning way more than he could handle to the tune of two interceptions and one fumble. When the Eagles are one they can compete with anyone, but the win against New York didn't prove that. Sam Bradford's three interceptions didn't prove that, but DeMarco Murray's first 100-yard game has to mean something. Fletcher Cox is on fire and this team is fun to watch. Philadelphia has lost two games by a total of five points. They also have a win against the Jets who could be the best team in the league after this weekend.

New York Giants

Record 3-3. Eli Manning's nearly perfect quarterback play became imperfect to the tune of a terrible Monday night performance. Following a first drive score, Odell Beckham and Manning could not make another significant connection and Philadelphia scored 27 unanswered points. Manning looked awful and the Giants defense gave DeMarco Murray his best game since signing with Philadelphia. New York is now tied for first and faces Dallas who is coming off of a bye week.

Indianapolis Colts

Record 3-3. Eeek. Best 3-3 team in the NFL? I can't even say that as I think both the Eagles and Giants deserve rank over the Colts. However, I felt like Indianapolis held their own pretty well through most of the game with New England on Sunday night. That fake punt thing will be remembered at the end of the year and beyond, but it probably won't mark their season. The Colts have simply nothing to prove this season, Peyton is a distant memory, Bruce Arians can't rejuvenate the team and Andrew Luck is who he is... A little closer to human than we all thought.

Buffalo Bills

Record 3-3. I don't think that the Bills would have lost to the Bengals on Sunday if Tyrod Taylor had been able to play, EJ Manuel held his own pretty well given what he was given. LeSean McCoy returned to the team for 93 yards, one touchdown and a 5.6 yard average, but the team lost Sammy Watkins (possibly long term) after four catches and a touchdown. Taylor looks likely to return this week and so should Buffalo against Jacksonville in London at 9:30 AM (EDT) on Sunday.

Miami Dolphins

Record 2-3. Last week I said, "I wonder if two weeks of Oklahoma Drills can bring back the Dolphins to a time when they were relevant as a football team?" To the fear of neurologists everywhere, the answer is a resounding yes. This team is finally what this team was intended to be. Miami welcomed Tennessee to town, broke their jaw and may have injured Marcus Mariota for multiple weeks. The Dolphins started the season with a win before taking a three game win-less skid. Cameron Wake had his first four sacks on the season while causing two fumbles, Lamar Miller had his first 100-yard game of the season and Ryan Tannehill had two passes for touchdowns to match his two interceptions. The Dolphins get to beat up on Houston on Sunday.

St. Louis Rams

Record 2-3. The Rams have scored less than any team in the NFL coming out of their bye week and by 12 points. That will have to change if the NFC West wants to send more than just the Cardinals to the playoffs this season. St. Louis has beat Seattle and Arizona this season, while losing to Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Washington. They have three games on the rest of their schedule against teams that currently have winning records. Prepare for the Rams to look like a very good football team.

Seattle Seahawks

Record 2-4. No one thinks that the Seahawks should be this low, but there is no justifying a team that counts only Chicago and Detroit as their wins on the season. There really isn't one thing to put your finger on for Seattle either, only 12 teams have allowed less points than Seattle and only 13 teams have scored more points as a team. Three of their four loses have come against teams that are currently undefeated. The Seahawks have four games left on their schedule against teams that currently have winning records so their season is entirely salvageable.

Washington Redskins

Record 2-3. Washington is good, but won't make it out of this season in one piece. Following last week's loss to the Jets, the Redskins have games against the Patriots, Panthers, Giants, Bills, Eagles and two against Dallas remaining on their schedule. It's time to play for the future and see what they have in Chris Thompson, Matt Jones, Derek Carrier and Jamison Crowder. Maybe they can move up closer to the front of the draft.

Oakland Raiders

Record 2-3. Oakland has lost two in a row coming out of the bye, but is not as bad as their record. The Carr to Cooper connection only got better with a week of practice, but man the schedule does them no favors... Two games against San Diego, and games against the Jets, Steelers, Minnesota, the Broncos and Packers remain on the schedule. There are at least five losses in there.

Minnesota Vikings

Record 3-2. Minnesota held a Jamaal Charles-less Kansas City scoreless until the fourth quarter. About the only thing working for the Vikings was the Teddy Bridgewater to Stefon Diggs connection, where Diggs absorbed 7 of 9 targets, making that 13 of 19 on the season. Adrian Peterson was held to 60 yards on 26 attempts with 23 of those yards coming on one run. The Vikings currently have a winning record, but likely have the entire NFC playoffs remaining on their schedule.

Cleveland Browns

Record 2-4. They are who we thought they were, one of the hottest quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers in football. Josh McCown single-handedly resurrected the term 'sonned' with his performance against the Broncos as Denver's defense shutdown another hot-shot quarterback in back-to-back weeks. The Browns drives ended in three-and-outs and they advanced on contested connections, but Gary Barnidge and Travis Benjamin proved to be legit, doing all they could to get open and score against the overwhelming Denver defense. Getting marched out of field goal range in overtime was just embarrassing. Cleveland still has two games against the Steelers and Bengals in their schedule.

San Diego Chargers

Record 2-4. If the Chargers had been able to find Antonio Gates more often last week against the Packers they'd be crowned AFC West champions by now, but at 2-4 following a heartbreaking loss to Green Bay, San Diego is two and a half four games behind Denver in the West. They also have two games coming up against the Broncos, Denver is currently the only team on the Chargers remaining schedule with a winning record. They could literally win the next ten games and have only beat one good team. I like those chances for San Diego.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record 1-5. This team has everything pointing up and to the right despite their record. The best news for this team is that they don't need to do much to be the best team in the AFC South. The schedule does favor Jacksonville following week 9 and should pick up steam to end the season. A win against Indianapolis in week 14 could actually mean this team making the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints

Record 2-4. Last week Tim Lynch predicted that the Saints were going to win the Super Bowl this season. After watching their game against the Falcons last Thursday it may be true. Amidst rumors that New Orleans may 'trade' head coach Sean Payton, Drew Brees and Benjamin Watson connected on 10 of 12 targets to dissect the Falcons defense, Mark Ingram doubled his season touchdown total with his two scores and the defense did their damnedest to shut down that offensive juggernaut that revolves around Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. The Saints have already lost to the Panthers once and beat the Falcons once, they have the entire AFC South still and the floundering half of the NFC East remaining as well as their fourth place schedule. I smell Saints turnaround.

Houston Texans

Record 2-4. The Texans may have been in a completely different position if they would have stuck to their Brian Hoyer guns, but then again they may have been worse. Arian Foster seems healthy, but almost as ineffective as the runners who replaced him during his recovery from his mini camp injury. Hoyer has been named the Texans' starter just in time for the team to face the hottest team in the NFL (Miami) followed up by the Bengals and the rest of the AFC East on their schedule. Maybe they can draft a quarterback with the number one pick.

Kansas City Chiefs

Record 1-5. I thought that the team could recover from the loss of Jamaal Charles much easier than it actually did. The Chiefs defense held Adrian Peterson in check for the entire game only giving up one touchdown to Minnesota, but the offense wasn't able to get it together until the fourth quarter when their only touchdown came via a Alex Smith pass to Albert Wilson (who does exist) that went for 46-yards. The Chiefs have about four more wins on their schedule, they could surprise with five other than that there is no hope for this team no matter how good their defense wants to be.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record 2-3. The Buccaneers did nothing to warrant this plummet in the rankings, other teams just did things to warrant a jump in their ranking. Tampa's schedule does not let up for the rest of the season, two games against the Falcons and a game a piece against the Saints and the Panthers still on their schedule and those are just divisional games. They also have the entirety of the NFC East who have already penciled this game as a win.

Dallas Cowboys

Record 2-3. No game, no ratings move. Matt Cassel will start at quarterback this week when they play the Giants in New York and I think that everyone except maybe the Cowboys know how this is going to go. There is also a notion that Christine Michael can somehow save the team. Dez Bryant may save the team, oh and Tony Romo.

Tennessee Titans

Record 1-4. The Titans got steamrolled by the surging Dolphins, but who can blame them? It's the quarterback situation that may be the only way for Ken Whisenhunt to keep his job at the end of this season, he's got a sturdy foundation for any coach to work with, but not necessarily the trust of the fanbase. Marcus Mariota has a sprained left MCL that the team won't discuss further until after practice on Wednesday, but to have your entire season hanging on your rookie quarterback is a rough straw to draw.

San Francisco 49ers

Record 2-4. San Francisco beat Baltimore and is currently tied in the NFC West with 2-4 Seattle. I don't think that there is much that the 49ers can do for the rest of the season aside from play spoiler. It's time to unleash Colin Kaepernick as Joe Montana advised last week. The defense isn't too much to make up for with some of the talents that they have on offense. Every team other than Pittsburgh (who is still really good) that the 49ers have lost to this season is currently leading their division. San Francisco can certainly be better than they have been allowed to show. For what it's worth Kaepernick's rating of 128.2 led the NFL in week 6.

Baltimore Ravens

Record 1-5. The most impressing thing about Baltimore is how many games they have lost this season already. The waters off the wharf are very rough for the rest of the season and the Ravens could settle on re-upping for next season through an early pick and an Ozzie Newsome draft.

Detroit Lions

Record 1-5. Calvin Johnson is alive and Matthew Stafford was the second best quarterback in the NFL last week statistically. However, the beat Chicago and barely at that. Detroit's schedule has not been the easiest thus far, but it's not as if it eases up at all for the rest of the season.  Detroit probably has the second pick in next season's draft.

Chicago Bears

Record 2-4. Shame must had for giving the NFL's only win-less team a win in week 6 and no this isn't just because John Fox stopped paying attention to the Broncos prior to last season's playoffs. Chicago has still given up the most points of any team in the NFL, but health at receiver has not allowed the offense to keep up their end of the point total. If the Bears can win the games that they're supposed to and manage to update either the Rams, Broncos or Packers they can have a chance at mid-January.