Week 6 of the NFL season did not have a Thursday Night Football game as the Chiefs/Bills game was moved to Monday, three hours prior to the Monday Night Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. It was a statement weekend as teams such as the Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers won resoundingly in their headline matchups. Here are my top-10 NFL teams entering Week 7.
10. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Previous Ranking: N/A
The Cardinals find themselves back on this list after consecutive dominant road wins over the New York Jets, and the Cowboys on Monday night. Kyler Murray has been productive the past two weeks against bad defenses, gaining his confidence back after two rough outings against the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. The legitimacy of the Cardinals in the grand scheme of the NFL picture will be put to the test on Sunday as they face the 5-0 Seattle Seahawks.
9. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Previous Ranking: 9
The Bills failed in their two-stretch litmus test to prove themselves as an elite team, losing last Tuesday to the Tennessee Titans 42-16, and on Monday, they fell 26-17 at home to the Kansas City Chiefs. In a wet and windy evening, Josh Allen struggled for most of the game, throwing for only 122 yards. The defense was gashed by Chiefs’ running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who gained 161 yards on 26 carries. The Bills made it close at the end but couldn’t stop Patrick Mahomes when it mattered the most. The Bills should get back into the win column as they face the Jets on Sunday.
8. Chicago Bears (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 10
Despite looking unimpressive most of the season, the Chicago Bears find themselves at 5-1. They defeated the 3-2 Carolina Panthers 23-16 on Sunday in one of the ugliest games this season. They are not sexy. They just find ways to win and that’s all that ultimately matters in this league. They forced three Panther turnovers on Sunday, which was the difference in the slugfest. The Bears will head to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Monday Night Football, a very intriguing game for the NFC playoff picture.
7. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
Previous Ranking: 2
The Packers must have discovered time travel during their bye week as they turned into their 2019 selves in a 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. They allowed 38 unanswered points after taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, resembling last season where they would get flat-out dominated by teams who were more physical and better than them (both matchups at San Francisco case and point). It was an ugly display for Green Bay, who came back down to earth after a hot 4-0 start. They look to bounce back as they face the 1-5 Houston Texans on Sunday.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
Previous Ranking: N/A
Speaking of the Buccaneers, they rebounded from their disappointing 20-19 loss to the Bears in resounding fashion, crushing the previously undefeated Packers 38-10. Running back Ronald Jones II is continuing to be an effective weapon in Bruce Arians’ arsenal, rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Also, tight end Rob Gronkowski broke out with his best game as a Buc with five receptions, 78 yards and a touchdown. The Bucs next head to Las Vegas for a showdown with the Raiders and their former coach, Jon Gruden.
5. Tennessee Titans (5-0)
Previous Ranking: 5
The Titans are an exciting team to watch and their game on Sunday against the Texans was no exception. Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson engaged in an epic battle with the Titans, even having the lead for most of the fourth quarter. However, the Titans’ offense could not be stopped as Ryan Tannehill threw four touchdown passes and Derrick Henry ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime as the Titans won 42-36. The Titans are set to play their third-straight home game as they welcome the 5-0 Pittsburgh Steelers to Nashville on Sunday, a game which was the first game to get rescheduled due to positive COVID-19 cases.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)
Previous Ranking: 6
Aside from the Bucs, no team had a bigger statement win this week than the Steelers, who crushed the 4-1 Cleveland Browns 38-7. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had a pick-six and the Browns offense was held to 220 yards and 1-for-12 on third down. The Steelers defense looked fantastic, putting the rest of the NFL on notice. The Steelers will face the Titans this Sunday in what is easily the most intriguing game to date in the NFL season.
3. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)
Previous Ranking: 4
The Seahawks are coming off their bye week, hoping to fix some of their defensive issues as the season progresses while hoping Russell Wilson continues his strong season. They face a division opponent for the first time this season on Sunday as they head to Arizona to face the Cardinals.
2. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 3
The Ravens failed to dominate an inferior opponent this Sunday as they narrowly held off the Philadelphia Eagles, 30-28. They led 24-6 after three quarters but allowed 22 fourth-quarter points. The Eagles were a two-point conversion from tying the game. However, the Ravens still won as Lamar Jackson rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown in the game. The Ravens head into their bye week at 5-1.
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
Previous Ranking: 1
The Chiefs, once again, had to play the first game in a Monday doubleheader due to positive COVID-19 cases pushing back games. They held off the Bills 26-17 in a game with ugly weather. Edwards-Helaire led the way with 161 yards and Mahomes made the plays he needed to. What’s impressive about this is unlike last season, the Chiefs can emphasize the run and still find success — a dangerous development for the rest of the NFL. The Chiefs look to keep rolling as they will face the Denver Broncos this Sunday.