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NFL Power Rankings - Week 7: AFC North entries populate top 10

Andy Lyons / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore's football editors, including Mike Alessandrini, Jack Browne, Michael McClymont, and Arun Srinivasan.

1. Los Angeles Rams (6-0)

Previous Rank: 1

The league's sole remaining undefeated team must be careful not to fall victim to a trap game next week versus the 49ers before a stretch that includes the Packers, Saints, Seahawks, and Chiefs. - McClymont

2. New England Patriots (4-2)

Previous Rank: 4

Since New England was embarrassed by Detroit on SNF, it's scored 116 points in only three games. The AFC isn't ready for a changing of the guard just yet. - Browne

3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

Previous Rank: 2

The Chiefs could enjoy a special season if their 32nd-ranked defense can sort itself out. - McClymont

4. New Orleans Saints (4-1)

Previous Rank: 3

Coming off a bye, we'll see just how good Sean Payton's squad is this week as his No. 3 offense has a road date with Baltimore's No. 1 defense. Something's got to give. - Alessandrini

5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)

Previous Rank: 9

The Chargers have only losses to the Chiefs and Rams on their ledger. With a strong showing in London next week, they could enter the second half of the season as a legitimate threat to win the AFC. - McClymont

6. Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1)

Previous Rank: 10

Sometimes talent wins out, and though the Vikings have yet to put a complete performance together, they're trending upward. - Srinivasan

7. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)

Previous Rank: 13

Make all the dated jokes you want about Joe Flacco, he's been good enough this year while the defense has the Ravens looming as one of the AFC's true dangers heading into mid-October. - Srinivasan

8. Carolina Panthers (3-2)

Previous Rank: 5

With records of 3-0 at home and 0-2 on the road, the Panthers' upcoming matchup in Philadelphia predicts to be a tough one. Carolina has been inconsistent at best after its early bye. - Alessandrini

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)

Previous Rank: 11

Is there a player more terrifying than Antonio Brown with a game on the line? - Srinivasan

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

Previous Rank: 7

It would be unfair to dismiss Cincinnati's season to date because of Antonio Brown's 31-yard touchdown on the Steelers' final drive, but this was the Bengals' chance to finally bury their archrival and prove that the hot start to the year wasn't an anomaly. - Srinivasan

11. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)

Previous Rank: 14

Philly's defense might not be giving up too many points, but it can't keep surrendering big chunks of yardage - seven plays of at least 45 yards allowed, tied for most in the NFL - if a repeat is to be in the cards. - Browne

12. Chicago Bears (3-2)

Previous Rank: 8

It's hard to get a read on the Bears, who have lost by a combined four points in their two defeats. They could be 5-0 in an alternate timeline and now host the Patriots, who appear to be in top form. - Srinivasan

13. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

Previous Rank: 12

It wasn't their best effort against the 49ers, but when in doubt, all it takes is a picture-perfect late drive from Aaron Rodgers to rescue the day. - Srinivasan

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)

Previous Rank: 6

Two straight defensive duds from the Jags is a significant cause for concern, especially when Blake Bortles is simultaneously playing horrible football. - Alessandrini

15. Washington Redskins (3-2)

Previous Rank: 17

The Redskins have been unbelievably mediocre for far too long. They might not see a better shot at winning the NFC East than this season for a long time. - Browne

16. Miami Dolphins (4-2)

Previous Rank: 15

The signing of Albert Wilson was mostly ignored, and the Dolphins even admitted in the offseason that they needed to figure out his role. After making seven (!) defenders miss on a game-tying 75-yard score, the receiver should no longer be slept on. - Browne

17. Seattle Seahawks (3-3)

Previous Rank: 20

Talk of the demise of Seattle's defense may have been greatly exaggerated. The unit registered six sacks and three forced fumbles in a near shutout of the Raiders. - McClymont

18. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

Previous Rank: 26

Jason Garrett selling his soul in exchange for an offensive resurrection is the only explanation for the Cowboys dropping 40 on the vaunted Jags D. - Browne

19. Tennessee Titans (3-3)

Previous Rank: 16

Twelve points scored, 13 sacks allowed, and no touchdowns over the last two games. Yuck. - Alessandrini

20. Detroit Lions (2-3)

Previous Rank: 19

Coming off the bye week, the Lions are tasked with taking down a Dolphins team that is somehow sitting at 4-2 after an upset win over the Bears. - Srinivasan

21. Atlanta Falcons (2-4)

Previous Rank: 24

Exhale, Falcons fans, at least for now. Surviving a wild final play against the Buccaneers is a positive, but Dan Quinn's defense remains among the NFL's leakiest. - Alessandrini

22. New York Jets (3-3)

Previous Rank: 25

Two straight high-scoring wins have returned the early optimism surrounding the Jets, but injuries to Quincy Enunwa and Marcus Maye will test New York's depth. - Browne

23. Cleveland Browns (2-3-1)

Previous Rank: 18

Baker Mayfield finally looked like a rookie Sunday. It was bound to happen eventually. The unflappable QB gets a great chance to shake off a poor game with the slumping Bucs up next. - Srinivasan

24. Houston Texans (3-3)

Previous Rank: 22

Deshaun Watson is never going to hit his stride if Houston's offensive line continues to block like the worst unit in the league. - Alessandrini

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Previous Rank: 21

If Gerald McCoy's calf injury is serious, the Bucs' defense will go from bad to historically bad in a hurry. - Alessandrini

26. Denver Broncos (2-4)

Previous Rank: 23

Despite a nice statistical day Sunday, Case Keenum is still missing throws and leaving much to be desired. If he's outplayed by Josh Rosen on Thursday, look out. - McClymont

27. Buffalo Bills (2-4)

Previous Rank: 27

With Josh Allen's status up in the air, the Bills could be forced between again throwing Nathan Peterman to the wolves or introduce Derek Anderson, who signed less than two weeks ago. Is neither an option? - Browne

28. San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

Previous Rank: 32

So that's why Kyle Shanahan had such faith in C.J. Beathard. Unfortunately for the Niners, the youngster shriveled when the possibility of a Monday night upset became too real. - McClymont

29. Indianapolis Colts (1-5)

Previous Rank: 29

Injuries are partly to blame, but Indy has lost three winnable games in 2018. This year was supposed to begin the turnaround. We aren't holding our breath. - Alessandrini

30. New York Giants (1-5)

Previous Rank: 28

It speaks to how fun Saquon Barkley is that watching the rookie run circles around all challengers is worth the pain of witnessing 2018 Eli Manning ... but only just. - Browne

31. Arizona Cardinals (1-5)

Previous Rank: 31

The present may be bleak, but the future is bright in Arizona. The Cardinals' top two picks in each of the last two drafts (Josh Rosen, Christian Kirk, Haason Reddick, and Budda Baker) each showed flashes of brilliance Sunday. - McClymont

32. Oakland Raiders (1-5)

Previous Rank: 30

Ten years later and Jon Gruden still hates young players. Though he shut down rumors that Amari Cooper is on the trade block, Gareon Conley played zero defensive snaps in a beatdown in London. - McClymont

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