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NFL Power Rankings through Week 7

Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer share secrets of how to be terrible and cost the Raiders a top ten SoB ranking. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Week 7 may be over, but there is a lot to digest. London was forced to confront their very notion of “football,” Tim Tebow took over as a starting quarterback, and Carson Palmer came out of retirement (at least technically) for the Oakland Raiders.

As I do each week, I’ll assess each team’s performance and see how all 32 teams compare in my NFL Power Rankings. Many of my top ten teams from last week decided to make me look stupid by losing (yeah, I’m looking at you Ray Lewis, but please don’t kill me).

That means it was good to have a bye week, even though I normally hate re-ranking a team that didn’t even play.

As a bonus, I also fill you in on what players may or may not have done with their bye weeks, which may or may not include pornstars. That’s right, pornstars.

Last week’s ranking is in parentheses. (No, not porn rankings, NFL rankings.)

Without further ado, my NFL Ranks of the powerful and the pitiable through Week 7:

32 (32). St. Louis Rams (0-6)

According to Grantland’s Bill Barnwell, the Rams have held a lead for six minutes and 28 seconds this season. They haven’t enjoyed the simple pleasure of having more points than their opponent since the first quarter of Week 2.

Thus, another week at the bottom of my rankings. That’s what giving up 250 yards rushing to a back-up running back will do.

31 (30). Indianapolis Colts (0-7)

It takes some serious ineptitude to lose by 55 points, but it takes even more extreme incompetence to make me consider moving the Rams out of last place. You’re getting close, Indy.

I’ll put it this way: you could have given the Colts five points for every first down (11), two points for every minute of possession (nearly 22), one point for every penalty yard (49), or converted Curtis Painter’s passer rating (38.1) into points.

And they still would have lost.

30 (31). Miami Dolphins (0-6)

A 15-0 lead with less than six minutes left seems like a relatively sure win. Unless you’re the Miami Dolphins, in which case you give up 18 straight points. At least you’re still in the running for Andrew Luck!

29 (29). Arizona Cardinals (1-5)

Another week, another crappy Kevin Kolb performance, another loss for the Cardinals. Ho-hum. Forget Brett Favre, can Arizona convince Kurt Warner to un-retire?

28 (28). Minnesota Vikings (1-6)

A telltale sign of a lost season is when one of your players kicks an opponent in the groin. Ouch. To add insult to injury, before throwing his penalty flag, the ref instinctively threw his hands up to signify it was “good.”

27 (25). Seattle Seahawks (2-4)

Seattle held their opponents to six points. And still lost. Um, at least their defense is half-decent?

26 (23). Cleveland Browns (3-3)

Cleveland fans may have gotten a win over Seattle to boost their morale, but they also had to sit through a game that saw just three field goals. I guess that’s what happens when two cursed cities square off. Though to be fair, the Browns’ Phil Dawson drilled his two field goals from over 50 yards. How exciting!

25 (27). Denver Broncos (2-4)

Tim Tebow completed 4-of-14 passes for 40 yards in the first 55 minutes, then somehow led the Broncos to an improbable overtime win. Now I have to constantly hear how, no matter what, Tebow figures out how to win games.

That said, I’m pretty sure when it comes to being a quarterback, it’s better to be good than lucky. In a related story, he won’t be playing the Dolphins every week.

24 (21). Washington Redskins (3-3)

John Beck somehow didn’t prove to be the difference maker to lead the Redskins to a W. You mean the guy the Dolphins cut loose wasn’t the answer? Shocking.

23 (26). Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)

Maurice Jones-Drew became the first player to gain 100 yards on the ground against Baltimore in almost a year, and the Jaguars shocked the Ravens on MNF by controlling the clock and being unbelievably boring.

22 (24). Kansas City Chiefs (3-3)

After beating Oakland 28-0, I’m pretty sure the Chiefs should have sent two draft picks to the Bengals in order for Cincinnati to trade Carson Palmer to the Raiders. Now that would have been a fair trade.

21 (22). Carolina Panthers (2-5)

Cam Newton matched the record for rushing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback, and matched the Panthers’ win total for all of last season. His father was almost as proud as when he realized Cam could earn him hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

20 (13). Tennessee Titans (3-3)

Chris Johnson averaged 1.8 yards-per-carry, Matt Hasselbeck averaged 3.5 yards-per-attempt, and the Titans gained only 148 total yards in getting blown out by their division rival. Can they bring Vince Young back? His stat line isn’t pretty, but with a 30-17 record, he always figures out a way to win.

19 (8). Oakland Raiders (4-3)

Kyle Boller threw three first-half interceptions, setting up the perfect scenario in which Carson Palmer couldn’t do any worse. As it turns out, Palmer also threw three interceptions in just one half. I guess technically that’s not any worse…

18 (20). Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)

Michael Vick spent the Eagles’ bye week licking his wounds in preparation for upcoming opponent Dallas.

17 (12). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)

Coach Raheem Morris responded to his team’s loss by saying, “There’s no excuses, no explanations, no travel excuses, no time zone excuses, whatever you want to call it.” He also said, “The problem is we’re too young.” I’m confused.

16 (19). Chicago Bears (4-3)

Matt Forte increased his league-leading rushing and receiving yards, inspired to convert the British to American football and spurred on by the pregame performance by the Goo Goo Dolls. Jay Cutler would have played better, but he resented that the streaker didn’t give him a high-five.

15 (16). Houston Texans (4-3)

The Texans took over first place in the AFC South with a balanced attack (whatever significance that has). Apparently every other team in the division feels bad that the Texans choke annually and voted unanimously to bequeath them the title by sitting Peyton Manning, releasing David Garrard, and signing Matt Hasselbeck.

14 (14). Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

Everyone on the Bengals took the bye week to sign a thank you letter to the Raiders for the two giftwrapped draft picks. They also sent Carson Palmer an edible arrangement as a token of appreciation for Palmer somehow having the reputation of still being a good quarterback.

13 (17). Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

Matt Ryan overcame an injury to give the Falcons an impressive win on the road. Coach Mike Smith showed he spent enough time analyzing film with a textbook postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

12 (18). New York Jets (4-3)

In the second half, the Jets’ defense shut out the Chargers’ offense and Mark Sanchez hooked up with Plaxico Burress for two of his three touchdowns to bring the Jets back over .500. I refuse to be impressed, unless Plax celebrated one of his touchdowns by using the football as a prop to pretend to shoot himself in the leg.

11 (15). Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

The Cowboys overpowered a hornless Rams team with a big performance by running back DeMarco Murray. With 253 yards, Murray broke the team’s single game rushing record set by Emmitt Smith, and finally gave me a reason not to mention Tony Romo. Crap, there I go again…

10 (11). New York Giants (4-2)

During the Giants bye week, Eli Manning worked on his game. He didn’t want to be the weak link of the Oreo DSRL Team anymore.

9 (9). Buffalo Bills (4-2)

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who as we all know went to Harvard, took advantage of the bye week by writing a dissertation analyzing how Shawne Merriman has no face tattoos and only one inconspicuous neck tattoo, yet still dated pornstar and reality TV star Tila Tequila.

8 (3). Baltimore Ravens (4-2)

Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense put up another stinker, finally managing to put points on the board with two minutes left in the game. That was after accumulating zero first downs before halftime. Now I’m no coach, but maybe Ray Rice should have run the ball more than eight times, and Flacco should have thrown less than 38 times.

7 (6). Detroit Lions (5-2)

Do you think the Lions could just play solid football long enough so that their Thanksgiving game against the Packers is meaningful? Just once I would like there to me more at stake than who gets that weird Galloping Gobbler award.

6 (4). San Diego Chargers (4-2)

After losing to the Jets, tight end Randy McMichael analyzed the game by saying, “The San Diego Chargers beat the San Diego Chargers.” This begs the question: Why would the Chargers keep themselves from winning? And how were they playing against themselves?

5 (10). Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)

Since the Steelers were clearly going to win in Arizona, the question on everyone’s mind is: How is Big Ben not the one playing in London every year?

4 (7). New Orleans Saints (5-2)

The Saints hung 62 points on the winless Colts. I don’t think they could have scored more points if they had literally been playing against baby horses.

3 (5). San Francisco 49ers (5-1)

Alex Smith spent his bye week nursing his own injuries, since the other 49ers players wouldn’t play “Doctor” with him.

2 (2). New England Patriots (5-1)

Over the Patriots’ bye, Rob Gronkowski took these pictures with pornstar Bibi Jones. I don’t even need a punchline, but what are the odds Jones is wearing anything underneath that jersey? 2 to 1? 3 to 2? Even odds?

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (7-0)

On the season, Aaron Rodgers has completed over 70 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns, just three interceptions, and a 125.7 passer rating. Of his six incompletions Sunday, two were drops, two were intentionally thrown away, and one was a spike to stop the clock.

Forget testing for steroids and HGH, I’m pretty sure Rodgers is a cyborg sent from the future to annihilate opposing defenses.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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