Call it redemption week. Those preseason contenders that have so far been disappointments all got wins this week and are suddenly believing that they're not quite out of it. The Eagles took the Redskins down a peg, Dallas lost in New England and suddenly Philly is only two games back in the NFC East. For a team that was 1-4 and running out of hope last week, that's not a bad position. Now they get a bye week and three straight winnable games at home afterward.
The other team to pull themselves out of the doldrums was the Atlanta Falcons, who scored a convincing win over the Panthers to even their season record at 3-3. Yes, beating the 1-5 Panthers isn't that huge of an accomplishment, but getting a win in the division combined with a loss by the Saints pulls them to within a game of the NFC South lead.
And the Jets... Well, they've probably got more work to do in their division than either the Eagles or Falcons, but after a week of in fighting and riding a three game losing stream, it has to feel good for them to get one in the win column.
All that said, here's your week 7 NFL power rankings.
2) New England Patriots - It was really a sloppy and uncharacteristic game for them against Dallas, but did anyone not think Tom Brady was going to walk them down the field for a score at the end? LW (3)
3) Baltimore Ravens - Coming off a resounding win over the Texans, the Ravens now have two straight weeks of what look like relatively easy games against Jacksonville and Arizona. After that comes the Steelers in Pittsburgh. (LW 5)
4) San Francisco 49ers - They've won four straight in what most would have consider the hardest part of their schedule. It's not crazy to think they could be 9-1 or 8-2 by week 11. (LW 9)
5) Detroit Lions - For a team that's done so much losing to be be poor sports about it is pretty bewildering. (LW 2)
6) San Diego Chargers - Had a bye this week and they'll need it. Their next four are at the Jets, at Kansas City, then Green Bay and Oakland at home. That stretch will tell us a lot about this team. (LW 8)
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They've won and lost ugly this year, but that victory over the Saints was pretty. (LW 20)
9) Pittsburgh Steelers - This is the hardest team to figure out in the NFL. They blew out the Titans two weeks ago and looked really pretty poor against the Jags this past week. After traveling to Arizona next week, they've got the Pats, Ravens and Cincy three straight weeks. We'll really learn about this team then. (LW 7)
10) New York Giants - They had their hands full with the Bills, but they made plays when they had to and now lead the NFC East. (LW 13)
11) Buffalo Bills - Ryan Fitzpatrick's fourth quarter magic wasn't there this week as he threw a killer pick late in the game as the Bills were threatening to score a go ahead TD. But for a team that many thought would be contending for the #1 pick this season, being 4-2 heading into their bye should have Bills fans pretty happy. (LW 6)
12) Oakland Raiders - You have to fell bad for Oakland, just when they get things rolling they lose their starting QB for probably the whole year. Then David Garrard turns them down. They're a run first team, but I don't know that they can overcome Kyle Boller as their starting QB.... and would Carson Palmer off the street really be any better? (LW 11)
13) New York Jets - It wasn't the confidence inspiring win Jets fans were probably hoping for (at least from an offensive perspective), but it was at least a step in the right direct over the Dolphins on Monday night football. (LW 16)
14) Cincinnati Bengals - Did you know the Bengals are 4-2? Probably not right? This was another team many saw as a #1 pick contender. But before Bengals fans complain too much about the lack of respect, three of their wins have come against teams with a combined 3-13 record. (LW 15)
15) Chicago Bears - They got a blowout win over the Vikings, but really nothing about this Bears team inspires confidence in me. Take a look at their post bye schedule, they could really go 0-4. (LW 17)
16) Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons have yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. They'll get that chance next week on the road in Detroit. (LW 19)
17) Washington Redskins - I had them ranked at #10 last week and despite the fact that I thought they'd earned it I was still uncomfortable. Now I know why. Their offense was just awful against the Eagles and their really good front seven wasn't all that impressive either. (LW 10)
18) Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles offense went dormant in the second half, but for the first time this season their defense actually made plays and picked them up. If they can play half that good on defense for the rest of the season, they really can make the playoffs. (LW 21)
19) Houston Texans - They got really worked by the Ravens and now face an important division matchup against the Titans next week. Fortunately, their poor division should keep them in the hunt while they wait for Andre Johnson to heal. (LW 12)
20) Tennessee Titans - I thought it was interesting that a dead and buried team traded for Brandon Lloyd and not the Titans. Unlike St Louis, the Titans are leading their division and have a real playoff shot. After losing Kenny Britt why not go after Lloyd? (LW 14)
23) Arizona Cardinals - Head into their bye as losers of four straight. The top priority needs to be figuring out how to get Kolb Kolb playing better. (LW 23)
24) Denver Broncos - Started off the first week of the Tebow era by trading away probably his best WR. Not that Tebow even needs WRs (either because he can't throw or is too awesome, you decide). (LW 24)
25) Jacksonville Jaguars - Only have one win on the season, but they still have to play Indy twice... so there's three! (LW 28)
29) Minnesota Vikings - All of Christian Ponder's fellow class of 2011 first round picks are starting now. Probably time for him to join them. (LW 27)
32) Indianapolis Colts - This team was playing in the Superbowl in 2010. That's the last calender year and now they're the worst team in the NFL. (LW 31)