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NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Los Angeles Rams enter top three

New Power Rankings, same top two ...

You probably figured out that the Chiefs would stay parked in the top spot -- even after a close loss -- with the consistency they've shown this season. The Eagles? More people should take notice.

Analysts and fans alike should take a deep dive into Carson Wentz's budding career. While he's been mentioned as a rising star, Wentz fell behind Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft and behind Dak Prescott in the full-throttle evaluation analysts give these guys right off the bat. Yet, for all the fine statistical analysis, Wentz didn't enjoy the benefits of the league's leading rusher in 2016 or the top offensive line in football. Nor could he boast a true WR1 to go to in the clutch. Now, with an improved supporting cast around Wentz, we're seeing who the best quarterback from last year's draft really is. He's more accurate and uses his legs more effectively ... yes, even better than Prescott. Through six games, Wentz is the seventh-rated passer in the NFL, but at the top on pro football's biggest down (130.5 passer rating on third downs). And he's a huge reason Philly is 5-1.

On to a tweet that aged well ...

And how about a tweet that's, well, ageless?

Love this. That's a young man paying respect to the past. And let's be real: The Oilers' unis were the sweetest in sports.

While the top two teams are staying put, you'll see plenty of shakeup below. Please note that the further we go into the season, the less head-to-head matchups matter. Some of the best squads are sitting at 3-2. Your take is always welcome ... @HarrisonNFL is the place.

Let the dissension commence!

PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Call (888) 553-7436 and leave a message with your opinion, and your comments could be played on the air.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The lineup below reflects changes from our Week 6 Power Rankings.

The Chiefs finally fall in the standings, but not in the Power Rankings. Kansas City was bound to lose at some point. Without the off-the-helmet-right-into-Antonio Brown's-hands 51-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs probably would have emerged victorious. The most concerning aspect of this contest: On the Chiefs' final salvo, protection broke down multiple times, with the key play being James Harrison's sack. Eric Fisher still can't stranglehold -- I mean, block -- that guy. The big concern for this week: Whether or not Tyreek Hill will be available to face the Raiders on Thursday. Another reason Thursday football is not optimal on a weekly basis. Nor is going for it on fourth-and-2 when you're down nine and in field-goal range. But I digress.

As I wrote in the intro, this team is not moving. (And if you are one of those who skipped the intro to go straight to the Eagles blurb ... quit skipping the intro. P.S.: I love you.) Admittedly, I was not able to watch as much of Philly's Thursday night win over Carolina as I would've liked. I got locked out of my house and had to drive over to my ex-girlfriend's place to get my spare key. So I listened to much of the second half on the radio. The broadcast focused on Philly's big plays, particularly the six-play, 75-yard drive that bridged the late-third and early-fourth quarter and really decided the game, 14 game minutes before this deal officially ended. Two things I like: Leggie Blount getting 14 carries. Keep working him. Also, Nelson Agholor contributing big plays, including the touchdown reception to cap that second-half drive. There's another story in there somewhere.

The Rams won a game that, while it might have flown under the radar over the weekend, was one of the more interesting matchups of Week 6. The defenses were in control for much of the day, but Los Angeles received a big boost from its special teams -- especially Pharoh Cooper's brilliant return on the game's opening kickoff. Also noticeable is the strong season Todd Gurley's putting together: 116 more rushing yards on Sunday, everybody.

The Steelers' M.O. is to beat the premier teams in the business, then falter against the crappy ones. Man oh man, is this team herky-jerky. Yet, given the topsy-turvy NFL, where the majority of the underdogs prevailed over the weekend, Pittsburgh is both consistently inconsistent and emblematic of the league. Central to the prime effort given in Arrowhead was the game being taken off the shoulders of Ben Roethlisberger and placed firmly in the belly of Le'Veon Bell, who put up 191 yards on 35 touches.

Tough blurb to write here. Immediate reax: The Panthers couldn't mount a final drive to take a big game at home, right when you thought the team, or quarterback, had turned some imaginary corner. On the other hand, all I could really dwell on while writing this was Luke Kuechly's health. That guy is a superstar. Head injuries are a scary issue. No one wants to see an impact player, who by all accounts is a fantastic dude, miss time or have his career threatened. Hopefully, the symptoms that landed him in the concussion protocol Thursday night were relatively mild, and this is not major. Not overstating anything here, though, because player health is always a concern (I don't criticize player-safety rules), and, in my book, Kuechly is a Hall of Fame-level player with only the longevity component missing.

For weeks, people have been pooh-poohing the Patriots, telling me I should've had them at, like, 20. The only dissenting voice was Heath Evans on the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Of course, Heath played fullback for Bill Belichick, so there's that. (Shameless plug: Catch "NFL Power Rankings," Tuesdays at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network.) While the New England defense still elicits, uh, let's say, a lack of confidence, which teams in the NFL are playing well on both sides of the football?

 **Aside:** I loved 
 Rob Gronkowski's 
 ill-fitting taupe blazer with a light blue undershirt. Crockett and Tubbs were waiting for Gronk to finish his postgame news conference in a 1983 Toyota Supra. 

The Redskins "won" on Sunday. Welp, call the triumph over the 49ers "surviving in a parity-laden football league." With the win, Jay Gruden's squad sits nicely in the NFC East at 3-2, with one of its losses coming against the Chiefs, an AFC team. Those are the least damaging, as interconference losses play no special role in tiebreakers. Of course, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Washington is a decent team, but it can ill-afford costly turnovers like the ones made Sunday. Kirk Cousins' pick ended a drive in San Francisco territory, while Vernon Davis' fumble led to a Niner touchdown ( closssssssssse play). Love watching Chris Thompson, who reminds me of a former Redskin player who wore No. 25, Joe Washington. Don't love seeing all these Redskins defenders getting hurt.

Despite not playing, the Seahawks get a little jump. The time off meant all you Seattle fans had an opportunity to watch "Deep Space Nine" on Netflix and sell your autographed Phil Bradley card on eBay. Also an opportunity for the Seahawks to further sort out the run game, which supposedly will feature Eddie Lacy more. Why not more Thomas Rawls? What's going on there? Rawls received all of eight carries against the Rams, while Pete Carroll's run game pleasantly sucked. But the Seahawks won and all. C.J. Prosise is due back, further muddying the waters.

Moving the Vikes way up, with Teddy Bridgewater cleared to practice and Jerick McKinnon performing admirably in place of Dalvin Cook. Despite their fine record, going to be a hair conservative and not move them up any higher, not one week after they narrowly escaped Chicago (barely beating a rookie QB making his NFL debut). Minnesota also got out of facing Aaron Rodgers for three quarters on Sunday. That said, I wish I hadn't been conservative when it came to whether or not to have Harrison Smith on my preseason All-Pro team. He was on there until the final cutdown. Now I think Mike Zimmer's big-time safety is a candidate for DPOY. Already at the zenith of Pro Football Focus' rankings, all Smith did was compile five tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. We don't hear about him enough.

New Orleans is the one team in the NFL that literally no one who covers the sport seems to be paying attention to, but the Saints have won three in a row with a defense that at least makes plays now. Sure, the unit allowed 24 points against Detroit on Sunday. It also produced 21. Moreover, the Lions' scoring binge started when they were pushed to a frenetic pace by a massive deficit. (I also wanted to use moreover in a sentence.) The point is, this is not the same group that beat the Giants in that 52-49 track meet two years ago, even if the score seemed similar. Next up: at Green Bay.

Members of the #BillsMafia were off this past weekend, given a reprieve from complaining about the offense. Tyrod Taylor is probably the most confusing quarterback this side of Cam Newton. Whereas Newton is an up-and-down player, everyone keeps wondering if Taylor is an undervalued player mired in a bad offense or a quarterback who is merely jussst good enough to get you beat. Not everything can be blamed on supporting cast. Sometimes a passer has to take chances downfield and let the chips fall where they may. Witness Alex Smith this season. Wonder what would've happened if Buffalo had drafted Patrick Mahomes ...

Maybe the Falcons aren't that solid. Julio Jones was out there against Miami on Sunday, and Matt Ryan is the reigning MVP, but for the second straight contest, they allowed a team with little to zero offense come in and beat them at their place. The Dolphins only threw for 151 yards, but Jay Ajayi's 130 yards on the ground, coupled with Reshad Jones' interception, was enough to ground Atlanta. Put simply: The offense couldn't run a lick in the second half. At least the defense made up for it by letting Ajayi run wild.

 **Side note:** One player to watch is speedster 
 Marvin Hall, 
 who hauled in a gorgeous Ryan deep ball in the first half for a score. Hall had like 10 yards on Xavier Howard. 

If ever there was a case of overlooking an opponent, it was the Broncos on Sunday night. Yet, you can't ignore that Vance Joseph's group is 3-2 after playing four of their first five games at home. While no one should overreact to the loss to the Giants, it did reveal a few offensive issues. Trevor Siemian threw for over 300 yards. Which tells you how overrated the 300-yard game is in today's NFL.

If you didn't see Deshaun Watson's pregame getup, scroll up, man. If you didn't see his performance, check out this video. Watson leads the NFL in touchdown passes (15). He's the first rookie to ever throw at least three touchdown passes in three straight games. He loves kittens. He's 3-2 as a starter, with the losses coming against the defending champs on the road and the top outfit in these Power Rankings. His passer rating is over 100. Perhaps most importantly, with the Jags losing in Los Angeles, the Texans are back in the thick of the AFC South race. Only one thing I typed in this paragraph was fabricated. You guessed it: I am not totally sure the Chiefs are the NFL's top team.

No question, this is a huge drop. Yet, until we figure out what the Packers can do with backup quarterback Brett Hundley at the helm, this is where Green Bay sits. What I like: Hundley's comments post-loss, talking about his passion for football and not acting like a man who's afraid of replacing Aaron Rodgers in the wake of the franchise QB's broken collarbone. What I don't like: How many stars the NFL is losing to injury this year. Think about it: Eric Berry, David Johnson, J.J. Watt, Odell Beckham Jr., Rodgers. How about all the quality players just a rung beneath those names, like Ryan Tannehill, Whitney Mercilus and Dalvin Cook? Losing Rodgers for the season would be devastating, although the Pack did make the playoffs in 2013 without their franchise QB for half the year. Pulling for Hundley.

Say this: The Lions made Sunday's affair in New Orleans interesting. When the defense forced a punt late, after Matthew Stafford and the offense ferociously fought back to make what had been a blowout into a one-score deal, everyone had to be wondering if Detroit could pull off the unthinkable. Blown punt return, blown opportunity. Which really stunk -- Jamal Agnew's gaffe overshadowed his earlier return, which helped get the Lions back into the game in the first place.

The road-weary Jags ( London, New Jersey and Pittsburgh from Weeks 3 through 5) finally returned home last week and gave the Rams a tough fight most of Sunday afternoon. Front and center: Rookie sensation Leonard Fournette, who produced once again, with 138 total yards on 23 touches, including a 75-yard scamper to the house. Unfortunately, the OROY candidate became the latest star player to leave a game injured. The good news here is that Fournette avoided serious injury and should be available when the Jags travel to Indy. (The burning health question for that matchup: Will Andrew Luck be active? Apparently not.)

It was an off week for the Cowboys, but apparently no one told the news cycle. The national anthem controversy simply won't go away -- and neither will Ezekiel Elliott's suspension. What's next on the Zeke front? I don't have a law degree. Your guess is as good as mine. If a suspension is in fact inevitable, and considering the Cowboys' subpar 2-3 start to this season, would Dallas perhaps be better off with Elliott sitting now as opposed to losing time in 2018? What a wonky season for this organization.

Slight move upward for the Titans, who triumphed Monday night in a game where they certainly didn't put their best foot forward. That said, I want to call attention to three Titans for their efforts on the evening. Marcus Mariota gutted that sucker out. It was so obvious he couldn't move. It was so obvious Mike Mularkey wanted to play Matt Cassel about as bad as he wants to watch "Cruel Intentions" instead of film of his run game. The second guy? Taylor Lewan, who made it clear what he thought of his offense's showing (or the offensive play calling) in the red zone late. Third, Wesley Woodyard. That was a big-time play reading Jacoby Brissett's keeper on fourth down, then taking the right angle to stop it. Back to the offensive play calling in that fourth-quarter, goal-to-go situation. It was offensive.

Gutsy, gritty win from the Chargers in Oakland, one year after a botched hold by punter Drew Kaser ruined their opportunity for a road win over the Raiders. Philip Rivers took matters into his own (botch-free) hands late in the fourth quarter. After a clutch punt by Marquette King pinned the Bolts at their own 8, Rivers kept his poise in the pocket, hitting Hunter Henry to put the Chargers into field-goal range. Melvin Gordon (150 total yards) took the ball and the clock deeper, setting up Nick Novak's game-winning kick. That's two in a row for Anthony Lynn's team, with the added bonus of every other member of the AFC West losing Sunday.

Kudos to the Bears, for the important win on the road and for having the guts to bench the big contract and play the kid. Those two thoughts tie together, as getting a road win against a quality defense early in a quarterback's career is, simply put, career-building. Yes, even if he wasn't an overpowering force in the win. Mitchell Trubisky only attempted 16 passes, completing half of them. It was a "game manager" quarterback job if there ever was one. The young man didn't throw any catastrophic picks, while Chicago's run game and secondary won the day. Jordan Howard put up 167 yards on 36 carries. Adrian Amos took back an interception 90 yards to halt a Ravens scoring opportunity while creating a score of his own (and putting the Bears up 24-13). Next up: Panthers, at Soldier Field.

The Bengals were off this past weekend, but the break didn't necessarily come at a good time. While bye weeks are awesome for regenerating roster health, Cincy had been playing solid football for the previous three weeks. A hard-fought OT loss at Lambeau followed by back-to-back wins provided momentum for a team many wrote off at 0-2. And the down time provided some rough news on the health front, as Tyler Eifert was scheduled for season-ending surgery.

The early leader in the clubhouse for Pesky Team of 2017? These Jets, who simply won't lay down for anyone. Sure, Todd Bowles' squad fell to the dreaded Patriots. Everyone will focus on the Austin Seferian-Jenkins touchdown that wasn't. (Remember when we could have a score without a formal audit from the New York Command Center and Consumer Reports?) All of that jazz is missing the point. The Jets aren't playing down to expectations (with their MetLife Stadium co-tenants following suit on Sunday night). To that end, Josh McCown doesn't play like a guy ready to be replaced.

Signs of life, hope, a ground game, some defense ... and more wins from the Dolphins? (Don't worry, though: The passing game still really sucks.) Jay Ajayi is a true power back. Watch a couple of his fourth-quarter runs, where the man just goes north-south, ready to plow. Other than an unsportsmanlike call at the end of the game, the Dolphins weren't penalized in the second half. That call went against Reshad Jones, who had the presence of mind to not deliver the kill shot on Austin Hooper, slowing up to catch a tipped pass when his team really needed it. #20isunderrated

The congregation of Darth Raider fans in Oakland have been treated to a dearth of offense for several weeks now. The Raiders -- led by Derek Carr ... EJ Manuel ... then Derek Carr again -- have manufactured a grand total of 53 points over the last four games (all losses). This isn't a matter of drives stalling, either. Nope, the Raiders are averaging 225.3 yards per game during that time. That's awful. To think: Coming into this season, everyone felt the secondary was the dark side ...

Tremendous bounceback win for the Cardinals, one week after Philadlephia blew their doors off. Most notable: The effort from the new guy, Adrian Peterson, who proved he's not running on bald tires. The dude proved it on the first drive, tallying 54 yards and a touchdown. On Arizona's second possession, Peterson chugged for 22 more yards to help set up a Carson Palmer touchdown pass. Bruce Arians quipped in the postgame presser, "I know how to coach old guys." Sure does.

The logline of the 2017 season thus far seems to be: NFL Team X tries to win without Y starters. The Buccaneers are the latest to join the fray. With the leader of the defense (Lavonte David) already down, Jameis Winston's status is now in question with the specter of playing two of the next three games on the road against improved squads on the horizon. Tampa is at the Bills, who pace the league in points allowed, then home against the Panthers, before going to New Orleans to face a Saints team that has won three in a row. #Fitzmagic?

This football team has played poorly, for the most part, over the past four weeks. The one positive blip on the radar was handling the EJ Manuel-led Raiders. Other than that, the Ravens have been b.a.d. In fact, Sunday was awful. The defense faltered against an offense featuring a rookie quarterback with a single start under his belt on a short week. Joe Flacco is enduring his worst season as a pro. How 'bout that 4:8 TD-to-INT ratio? Straight out of the 1935 sports almanac.

Never underestimate athletic pride, man. Was there a more lopsided matchup than the Sunday nighter? The Giants trotted guys out there like Roger Lewis Jr. and Tavarres King against the top-flight secondary in football, a.k.a. "The No Fly Zone." Fine, so Big Blue just simply ran right at that defense with another guy you might not know: Orleans Darkwa, who hammered his way for 117 yards. Darkwa's clock-eating also provided the Giants' defense enough oxygen to nearly shut out Denver. I once met a psychic whose husband was the bass player in Orleans. They sang this tune. You're welcome.

Feel like the Colts are better than 30th. But what am I to do when Indy's two wins are against the only teams ranked lower in this league hierarchy? Jacoby Brissett had all the fantasy czars tweeting about his pointage in the first half. Second half: Titans DC Dick LeBeau implemented the proper adjustments, and Jack Doyle fought the football.

C.J. Beathard is the man now. Brian Hoyer had his opportunity, and frankly, didn't earn his keep -- despite votes of confidence from team brass and a certain writer I know. The Failing Washington Post (just kidding) pointed out that Beathard provided his team an energy boost when it really, really needed precisely that. OK, the kid didn't bring San Francisco all the way back for a win, but Beathard carries upside, whereas Hoyer has entered a static position in the minds of most personnel decision makers. Favorite Beathard play? Easy: The mock-scramble-up-the-middle-throw-it-off-his-front-foot-to-Aldrich Robinson-for-45-yards-and-a-score.

Really thought that by Week 7, the Browns would be out of the No. 32 spot. Which, in their case, has become a 32-hole. Or maybe Cleveland has season tickets to being the worst team in the league. It's frustrating for the organization and the fans, as well as those of us who cover the team from afar. Losing in Houston to the Texans -- and the hottest quarterback in the league -- is not the part that is bothersome. Rather, the Browns losing a game they were never really in by three scores -- that is tiresome. I mean, being down 33-3 midway through the third quarter hints little at analytics and potential, while screaming same ol', same ol'. Ugh.

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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