What a weekend of football, bookended by Thursday night madness and a solid Monday nighter, with many notable happenings in between. A few big items:
Those weren't the only intriguing happenings in Week 7. The Dolphins mounted an improbable comeback with their backup quarterback. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, forever linked as former teammates, keep winning. Le'Veon Bell got the football 38 more times on another huge day for the league's bell cow. Dez Bryant tied an old Cowboys record. And Mitch Trubisky won a game throwing seven passes.
Y'all had some thoughts about this ranking exercise ...
That's a whole lotta respect for the Eagles coming from Chiefs Kingdom. Must be a Kevin Curtis fan. (Best wide receiver mustache of the 2000s.)
Yep, fun blowing up my rankings -- and seeing my word count mushroom -- every week.
On that note, much movement in the top 10. Every spot sports a new team. Which sums up the state of NFL parity these days. Trying to make sense of what we've seen thus far, though your take is 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.
In case you were wondering, the Saints have only beaten the Packers in Wisconsin two other times -- and only once at Lambeau, in 2006, when Brees, in his first year under center for New Orleans, bested Brett Favre. The other road win? It came back in 1971, at Milwaukee County Stadium. A rookie named Archie Manning and Bart Starr played in that sucker. That was Starr's last year.
**Side note:** Agree with colleague Chris Wesseling -- Blake Martinez has become a nice player at ILB for Mike McCarthy. </content:power-ranking>
For the 49ers of the past, however, the day was most memorable. Dwight Clark was honored by the 49ers on Sunday, as the former wide receiver and local legend fights his battle against ALS. You might know that Clark authored the most clutch grab in postseason history, a play that launched the 49ers' dynasty. What you might not know is what a fantastic player Clark was outside of "The Catch." He led the NFC in receptions in 1981, then paced the NFL in that same category in the strike-shortened 1982 season. An injury late in the 1983 campaign forced him to miss the playoffs. Had he played, there's a good chance San Francisco would've bested the Redskins in the NFC Championship Game (instead of losing, 24-21) and faced off against the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII. Clark finally relinquished his status as Joe Montana's WR1 in 1985. That probably had more than a little to do with a guy Bill Walsh drafted that year: Jerry Rice. Clark was honored by a large gathering of former teammates Sunday, a group he said he wanted to see "one last time." A wonderful, and incredibly touching, sentiment from a man who altered the course of the NFL.
*Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL. And be sure to tune in to the "NFL Power Rankings Show" on NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET. *