As the 2018-19 NFL season is underway, certain franchises have stepped into the spotlight. As the weeks progress, here are the NFL Power Rankings, brought to you by The Athletes Hub:
1. Los Angeles Rams (7-0) (-)
After seven consecutive victories, the Los Angeles Rams continue to dominate the NFL. With a win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams will face a formidable opponent in the Green Bay Packers in week 8.
2. New England Patriots (5-2) (-)
The start of the season was shaky, but the New England Patriots appear to be the top AFC franchise in this current moment. As long as Rob Gronkowski’s health stays intact down the stretch of the season, this should be a fair placement for the Patriots through the rest of the year.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) (-)
There is debate that with changes, the Kansas City Chiefs could be viewed as the favorite in the AFC. The scoreboard says otherwise though, as the offense has carried this franchise into the #3 slot.
4. New Orleans Saints (5-1) (-)
Outside of the Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints could very well be the next-largest threat in the NFC. Drew Brees’ 500+ TDs over the course of his career places him among the greats, but another Super Bowl run would only assist his case as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
5. Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1) (+2)
This may be an optimistic ranking for the Minnesota Vikings, but their play has cleaned up over the last few weeks. A 20-point difference in their victory over the New York Jets gives this franchise fuel for the next few weeks.
6. Carolina Panthers (4-2) (+2)
The Carolina Panthers are inconsistent as a whole, but somehow find ways to win games. The 310 yards and 2 TDs from Cam Newton will be a factor in the Panthers securing an eventual playoff berth.
7. Washington Redskins (4-2) (+5)
It has been difficult to analyze the Washington Redskins through the first seven weeks, but I am ready to call them the favorite in the NFC East by default. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants don’t show enough domination on either side of the ball, and the Philadelphia Eagles can’t find their identity quite yet either.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) (+7)
As likely the most underrated franchise in the NFL, the season of Philip Rivers is borderline MVP-worthy. With 17 TDs and 3 INTs, the Chargers may be on the outskirts of a bye week by the time the postseason comes around.
9. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) (+1)
A bye week treated the Green Bay Packers well, as plenty of teams above them (Jacksonville, Philadelphia) suffered losses in week seven. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have enough of a supporting cast to make a Super Bowl run, but they are one of the ten most complete teams in the league.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1) (+10)
Much like the Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers benefited off the defeats for teams above them in the power rankings. Although Le’Veon Bell is nowhere to be seen, the Steelers have until next Tuesday in order to trade the running back before the Trade Deadline.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) (-5)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are struggling, and it’s not behind closed doors. According to reports, there were locker room altercations after their last loss to the Houston Texans that prevented the media from asking post game questions.
12. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) (-3)
The presumed “best overall” defense gave up 24 points in a loss to the New Orleans Saints, and because of that, the Baltimore Ravens drop three slots this week. Joe Flacco has yet to have a breakout game, but there are plenty more opportunities at hand.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) (-8)
Doug Pederson claims the Philadelphia Eagles can erase their flaws, but I’m not sure I believe that. This is a team that has been a letdown on both sides of the ball, and are vulnerable to losing essentially any matchup that comes their way.
14. Houston Texans (4-3) (+3)
The Houston Texans are finding their rhythm, and have won four straight because of it. An inconsistent Miami Dolphins roster could result in Houston advancing to 5-3 by the end of the week.
15. Chicago Bears (3-3) (-2)
Chicago remained competitive in its loss to the New England Patriots, but now sit at .500 with one of the better defenses in the NFL. Mitchell Trubisky is starting to come out of his shell, but a few more adjustments on offense are needed before the Bears emerge as contenders.
16. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) (-2)
A blowout loss on Sunday night sends the Cincinnati Bengals down a few slots, but also shows they may not be able to hold their own against the elite. This will be another strong regular season for the Bengals that ends in disappointment.
17. Atlanta Falcons (3-4) (+4)
A close victory on Monday night over the New York Giants gives the Atlanta a small spark moving forward, but keeps the Atlanta Falcons in the bottom half of the NFL. Matt Ryan put on a showcase with 379 yards through the air.
18. Seattle Seahawks (3-3) (-)
A bye week has very little impact on the Seattle Seahawks, who are missing too many pieces on defense in order to make a noteworthy run. Russell Wilson can only do such much, but the Seahawks will have a few bright moments throughout the year.
19. Denver Broncos (3-4) (+1)
The Denver Broncos made a statement in their victory over the Arizona Cardinals, but I’m looking for a similar statement made against an opponent with postseason aspirations. There is a lot to love about this franchise, but executing in the fourth quarter has been a struggle as of late.
20. Detroit Lions (3-3) (+2)
A victory over the Miami Dolphins is suitable and predictable for the Detroit Lions, but keeps them in the conversation as a franchise with potential moving forward. Kerryon Johnson had an impressive week, but consistency in the run game will be key for the offense.
21. Miami Dolphins (4-3) (-5)
The magic of Brock Osweiler ended after one week, but the Miami Dolphins did remain somewhat competitive with the Detroit Lions this past weekend. Once sitting in first in the AFC East, the Dolphins would be lucky to escape with a Wild Card slot.
22. Dallas Cowboys (3-4) (-3)
In a game that could have erased the criticism of the Dallas Cowboys, inconsistencies emerged against the Washington Redskins. With Amari Cooper on the active roster, has the offense found their true #1 receiver?
23. Tennessee Titans (3-4) (-)
There is no pure leader on either side of the ball, as the Tennessee Titans remain mediocre in 2018. The play of Marcus Mariota has been lackluster, and in today’s offense-heavy league, that is a formula for losses.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) (+2)
As the worst-ranked .500 franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled out a win last Sunday over the Cleveland Browns in overtime. While it wasn’t pretty by means, the Buccaneers have enough playmakers to make a dent on future opponents.
25. New York Jets (3-4) (-1)
Although Sam Darnold has been the most impressive rookie quarterback, the New York Jets have failed to support him. With 37 points allowed in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings, New York is still on track to exceed expectations.
26. Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) (-1)
A victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have been an impressive feat, but Baker Mayfield is still showing rookie rust. It may have been poor instinct to throw him into the fire this early into the season, but I can’t state that Tyrod Taylor would have been a more suitable option.
27. Indianapolis Colts (2-5) (+2)
After a blowout victory against the Buffalo Bills, Andrew Luck and company found some bright spots for themselves in week seven. The expectations are low, but this win will likely go down as a highlight for their season.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-5) (-)
The bye week was eventful, as the Oakland Raiders traded WR Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a first-round pick. While the Raiders continue to shop away their talent, I sense a complete rebuild in the near future.
29. New York Giants (1-6) (-2)
After the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles dropped games in week seven, the New York Giants failed to capitalize on their opportunity. In a close loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, Odell Beckham Jr continues to appear as the lone star in the Big Apple.
30. Buffalo Bills (2-5) (-)
With or without Josh Allen under center, the hopes are low for the Buffalo Bills this season. LeSean McCoy’s health is now in question, as the Bills will focus on adding future pieces to their roster.
31. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) (-)
Regardless of the quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals are helpless. After promoting Byron Leftwhich to offensive coordinator, it will be interesting to witness the changes to this offensive scheme.
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) (-)
San Francisco kept their momentum at rock-bottom, as the absence of Jimmy Garoppolo continues to take a toll. The 49ers will head into the offseason with aspirations of securing gems through the NFL Draft.
Featured Image: Sean Gardner/Getty Images