Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and there are some big shifts after Week 7.
This week, the Bills and Texans move back into the Top 10; the Chiefs continue to drop; and the Broncos, Vikings, and Panthers drop out.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 7:
10. Buffalo Bills – Buffalo squeaks in at 10 because even though Colin thinks Tyrod Taylor has limitations, they run the ball down opponents’ throats with LeSean McCoy, who just had his first multiple touchdown game of the season.
The Buffalo D has only allowed 5 touchdown passes on the year (2nd fewest in the NFL) and Colin likes their pass rush. They also lead the NFL in Turnover Differential (+10). The Bills aren’t built for shootouts, but they’re run game and D is what gets them in the Top 10.
9. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs keep dropping after coming back to Earth from a hot start. Offense isn’t the problem. Alex Smith leads the NFL in Passer Rating (120.5) and Kareem Hunt leads the NFL in Total Yards Per Game (143.1). As a team, they lead the NFL in Yards Per Play (6.48) and Points Per Drive (2.66), but their defense has been exposed by allowing over 470 Yards Per Game in back-to-back losses.
Colin loves Andy Reid, but the Chiefs need to figure out how to stop people.
8. Houston Texans – The Texans have taken off since Deshaun Watson took over, and this week they get All-Pro LT Duane Brown from a holdout. Since Will Fuller returned in Week 4, Deshaun Watson has a Passer Rating of 118.3, 12 TD, and only 2 Interceptions. Fuller has 5 receiving touchdowns since returning to the lineup.
Even though Colin has them ranked 8th, he thinks they have a legitimate shot to contend for the AFC if they keep improving. Houston keeps getting stronger.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers – Colin was critical of the Steelers early, but they’ve come on since getting embarrassed by the Jags. They’re the only team in NFL outgaining their opponents by 100 yards per game, and have smartly started to pound LeVeon Bell in the run game.
They also allow the fewest yards per play in the NFL (4.44), and haven’t allowed more than 313 yards in a game. Pittsburgh is rounding into form.
6. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are averaging 33.7 PPG, 449.7 YPG, while converting 56.8% of their 3rd Downs over their last 3 games, and are one of only 2 teams ranked in the Top 5 in 3rd Down and Red Zone offense.
The biggest surprise is their pass rush. They’re the only team in NFL averaging 14 QB Pressures per game. Dallas looks like they’re finally starting to hit on all cylinders after a slow start.
5. New Orleans Saints – New Orleans has traditionally had an awful defense, but they’re only allowing 4.66 yards per play over their last 4 games, and have only allowed 6 drives to reach the Red Zone in that stretch. Even though Drew Brees has thrown 2 Interceptions in each of his last 2 games, there’s no reason to think he won’t snap that slump.
If the Saints D can continue shutting down opponents, they’ll continue to hang around the Hierarchy.
4. Los Angeles Rams – They’re the only team in NFL averaging 30 ppg, and Todd Gurley has rushed for 100 yards 4 times – the Rams are 4-0 in those games, and 5-0 when they run the ball more than 22 times. The Ram defense is 2nd in the NFC with 23 Sacks.
Jared Goff has struggled over his last 4 – 53.9% Completion Percentage, 6.40 Yards Per Pass, 4 TD, 3 INT, 74.2 Passer Rating. That’s a concern, but Colin is still a believer in the Rams.
3. New England Patriots – Belichick has improved a defense which was atrocious to start the year. In the last three weeks, they’re giving up 12.7 PPG, 94.7 Rushing Yards Per Game, 38.5 3rd Down Percentage, and 36.4 Red Zone Percentage. All drastic improvements from the first 4 weeks of the season.
Tom Brady is the only QB that’s thrown for 2,000 yards, and New England is the only team with 5 different players with 25+ receptions. New England always gets better in the second half of the season.
2. Seattle Seahawks – Seattle has the NFL’s best Scoring Defense (15.7) & Red Zone Defense (28.6%), and Russell Wilson is completing 70.6% of his passes at 8.11 Yards Per Pass with a 102.0 Passer Rating during the Seahawks 3-game win streak. Seattle is also 1 of only 2 teams allowing an average Passer Rating below 70. Seattle is always dominant defensively and starting to look better offensively.
- Philadelphia Eagles –The Eagles grab the top spot for the second week in a row as Carson Wentz continues his rapid rise to superstardom. Wentz’s 133.1 Passer Rating on 3rd Down leads the NFL, and in addition to Philly ranking 2nd in the NFL in Time of Possession, they’ve also scored 27 points in the final 2 minutes of the 2nd Half (most in NFL). The loss of tackle Jason Peters is significant, and hurts going forward, but Philly is the best NFL team, right now.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 24, 2017