On Monday night, Oct. 26, 2015 the Arizona Cardinals improved to a record of 5-2 when they defeated the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 26-18. The win was not without some late game drama as Cards quarterback Carson Palmer seemed to struggle a bit with late-game clock management. The game ended when Cards defensive back Tony Jefferson made an end zone interception of a pass from Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. The game-saving play occurred after the Ravens had driven to the Cards nine-yard line with just 13 seconds left on the clock. In the wake of a third straight loss, Baltimore has now fallen to a record of 1-6. The six losses were by a total of 30 points.
After seven weeks of NFL Football, there are still five undefeated teams. Those teams are Cincinnati, New England, Denver, Carolina and Green Bay. All have a record of 6-0 and are ranked within the top 10 of this week’s NFL Power rankings. Here is a look at where these teams and others fall within the latest Power rankings.
1) Last Week # 1: Cincinnati (6-0) – The Bengals have passed every test so far. This week they face another, as they will meet the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time this season. Quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown 14 touchdowns against just two interceptions. With 427 yards, running back Giovani Bernard leads the team in rushing, and has not fumbled once this season.
2) LW # 2: New England Patriots (6-0) – Survived a stiff challenge from the New York Jets this past weekend. They will now face the suddenly-hot Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. After the physical game against the Jets, a game on just four days rest may be pretty tough.
3) LW # 3: Green Bay Packers (6-0) – Coming off the bye week, they will now go on the road to face the Denver Broncos. In a battle of undefeated teams, Aaron Rodgers and company now bear the burden of exposing the Denver Broncos as a team of smoke and mirrors. It could be interesting, or it could get ugly.
4) LW # 4: Carolina Panthers (6-0) – Took down the Philadelphia eagles last week, but it appears as though super quarterback Cam Newton may be wearing down just a bit. They should have an easy time with the Indianapolis Colts this week, so long as they are not caught looking ahead to the matchup with Green Bay on Week 9.
5) LW # 6: Arizona Cardinals (5-2) – The Cards are still in good position to win the NFC West, but have looked rather beatable in the last four games. They face Cleveland this week and then after a bye week, have two tough contests, as they will face Seattle and Cincinnati. With the Seahawks getting in desperation mode and the St. Louis Rams steadily improving, the NFC west race should bear watching.
6) LW # 5: Denver Broncos (6-0) – This is the week of the acid test. The undefeated Green Bay Packers are coming to town and unless quarterback Peyton Manning can play much better than he has been, the Broncos will likely be thoroughly embarrassed in front of the mile high crowd. Through six games, Manning has thrown seven touchdown passes, 10 interceptions, and is the lowest rated quarterback in the entire NFL.
7) LW # 8: New York Jets (4-2) – Fought the Patriots tooth and nail last week before finally losing. Most importantly, it showed this team can compete with the upper echelon NFL teams. If they can get by the energetic Oakland Raiders this week, the schedule becomes a bit soft for a few weeks. A record of 8-2 may be on the horizon.
8) LW # 7: Atlanta Falcons (6-1) – The most improved part of the Falcons game this season, has been on the defensive side of the ball. They are still winning games, but the offense has become curiously inefficient as of late. If this team truly has championship aspirations, then a 10-7 win over a weak Tennessee team which was starting it’s backup quarterback, is unacceptable.
9) LW # 11: Seattle Seahawks (3-4) – There is no need for panic just yet. The Seahawks are still in the thick of the playoff hunt. Well-rested after have played a Thursday game last week, they should be able to draw to .500 with a win over the floundering Dallas Cowboys. Despite their difficulties holding leads late in games, the Seattle defense is ranked fifth overall in points allowed per game. The Seahawks run game is ranked second overall; does this formula sound familiar ?
10) LW # 9: Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) – The Steelers managed to go 2-2 in the four games played without future hall of fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben is due back this week and their game upcoming game against the undefeated division rival Cincinnati Bengals, should be highly entertaining. On Sunday, Heinz field will no doubt be rocking.
Honorable mention: #11) Minnesota Vikings (4-2) – There is not much hype around them anymore, but the Vikes are in the thick of the playoff hunt. #12) Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) – Potentially a playoff team, but are way too inconsistent. #13) St Louis Rams (3-3) – The uneven play of quarterback Nick Foles is the only thing holding them back. #14) New Orleans Saints (3-4) – A few weeks ago they were dead and buried but now, they live. #15) Oakland Raiders (3-3) – If this team continues playing the way they are, playoffs are a realistic dream.