There are still two teams without a win, but there are no teams without a loss after only six weeks. The Kansas City Chiefs were the last to fall and did so with a whimper against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For more than half of the game, the Chiefs couldn’t even crack 30 yards of total offense before finally finding some success in the fourth quarter. The rushing attack that averaged more than 150 yards per game in the first five games managed just 28 yards against a Pittsburgh defense that gave up 181 to Leonard Fournette a week ago.
Still, the Chiefs are 5-1 and Week 6 was rough on the Broncos and Raiders too. Kansas City has plenty of reasons to feel good about its place in the AFC, but the Chiefs aren’t going to stick in the top spot in the power rankings this time.
OK, I know No. 2 is sky high for a team that’s just 3-2, but hear me out.
The Saints are still a juggernaut on offense and average 372 yards per game so far this season. Drew Brees is still Drew Brees, and now the team has Alvin Kamara paired with Mark Ingram in the backfield.
Maybe it won’t last for long, but even if it doesn’t, it looks like New Orleans struck gold with rookie Marshon Lattimore, who hasn’t given up a touchdown yet and had a pick-six Sunday.
Carson Wentz has been playing extremely well and Philadelphia is rolling.
With Aaron Rodgers out with a broken collarbone, the Eagles are the unopposed frontrunners for now in the NFC.
Rodgers is the No. 1 reason the Packers are 4-2 and it’s hard to imagine them hanging in the playoff race without him. The team isn’t great in any other aspect and has a banged up secondary.
Maybe Brett Hundley will play well, but he just won’t play like Rodgers — and that means the Packers’ promising season looks like it could be done.
At what point does the putrid play of Joe Flacco become a problem that the Ravens have to consider moving on from?
That may be premature for now, but his four touchdowns and eight interceptions through six games are ripping apart a Ravens team that isn’t good enough on defense to make up for his mistakes.
The Ravens forced 10 turnovers in the first two weeks to get out to a 2-0 start and shut down the EJ Manuel-led Raiders last week. But the Ravens couldn’t overcome Flacco’s two interceptions against the Bears and allowed Mitchell Trubisky to get his first career win, despite the rookie throwing just 16 passes.
Baltimore is going to have serious trouble continuing to find wins if Flacco’s passer rating doesn’t jump much higher than where it is now: 66.1.
The Browns hung in against the Jets and Colts, but were handled by the Texans in Week 6. The 49ers lost their fifth consecutive game by a margin of three points or fewer. I think I’d take the San Fransisco losses, but sheesh, both are awful. Losing isn’t fun.
Full hope rankings
Weekly disclaimer: These aren’t your average power rankings and are instead an attempt to measure the current state of mind — or “hope” — for each team and fan base.
The NFL can be an emotional roller coaster, and one big week can shoot a team’s spirits through the roof and tank another’s hopes of finishing with the Lombardi Trophy in February or beyond. Teams near the top are feeling great after Sunday, while those at the bottom aren’t feeling too optimistic.
If you’re looking for a ranking of who would beat who, this isn’t always going to be the best gauge:
Hope rankings, Week 7
|2||New Orleans Saints||15|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs||1|
|8||Los Angeles Rams||13|
|11||New England Patriots||10|
|12||New York Jets||9|
|24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||18|
|26||Los Angeles Chargers||29|
|27||New York Giants||32|
|28||Green Bay Packers||4|
|31||San Francisco 49ers||30|