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Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: Will Anyone Top Kyler Murray and the Red-Hot Arizona Cardinals?

A third of the way through the 2021 NFL season we take a look at the latest Power Rankings from 1-32. NFL expert Brett Oswalt is here with the breakdown.
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NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Will Anyone Top Kyler Murray and the Red-Hot Arizona Cardinals? 

Super Bowl Contenders

RankTeamRecordSuper Bowl Odds
1Los Angeles Rams5-1+850
2Buffalo Bills4-2+550
3Tampa Bay Buccaneers5-1+600
4Kansas City Chiefs3-3+700

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According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bills check in with the top odds to take home this year’s Lombardi Trophy. However, while Josh Allen and company rate atop Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA rankings, the Rams are the only team to check in among the top four in both offense and defense DVOA. 

Matthew Stafford has taken Sean McVay’s well-designed and balanced offense to a whole new level, averaging 29.8 points per game compared to 23.3 a year ago with Jared Goff at the helm. Meanwhile, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey – ranked fourth and sixth in Defensive Player of the Year odds – bookend a unit that really excels at slowing opposing offenses’ pass games. If anything, their one blemish is stopping the run, an area in which they were brutally exposed against the one-of-a-kind running ability of Kyler Murray and company, who ran for more than 200 yards in L.A.’s only loss back in Week 4. And just in case you aren’t sold on McVay’s minimal playoff experience, you can stop short of those worries and accelerate your return by getting in on the Rams’ +600 odds to finish with the most regular-season wins.

Worthy Challengers

RankTeamRecordSuper Bowl Odds
5Arizona Cardinals6-0+1100
6Baltimore Ravens5-1+1000
7Dallas Cowboys5-1+1400
8Green Bay Packers5-1+1200

It’s hard to say that one of these four teams has been hotter than the others. After all, the Cardinals have yet to lose, while the Ravens, Cowboys, and Packers have each won five straight. But in a “what have you done for me lately” league, Baltimore’s left little to be desired.  

In the face of injuries in the backfield, along the offensive line, and in the secondary, Lamar Jackson has opened up his MVP case with wins over the Chiefs and Chargers, as well as a standout come-from-behind victory over the Colts. A middle-of-the-pack defense keeps them in this second tier, but if you believe in Jackson’s ability to carry this team to the playoffs, it’s not hard to see them competing for a title. Better yet, if you believe in this narrative, doubling down on Jackson to win MVP – at +1200 odds – seems like a very smart (and potentially lucrative) move.

Playoff Hopefuls

RankTeamRecordSuper Bowl Odds
9Los Angeles Chargers4-2+2000
10Cleveland Browns3-3+2200
11Tennessee Titans4-2+2500
12San Francisco 49ers2-3+5000
13New Orleans Saints3-2+3500
14Minnesota Vikings3-3+8000
15Indianapolis Colts2-4+10000

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It’s painful to classify brainiac Brandon Staley and his thrilling Chargers outside the elite eight of sorts, but following up an impressive win over the Browns with a “womp, womp, waa” of a 28-point loss to the Ravens places them on probation until further notice. Are they the new-and-improved Chargers or the disappointing Chargers of old? Last week has to leave believers with a bad taste in their mouths, yet they rank an excellent 11th in offense DVOA and still have a win over the Chiefs to their name. Now is as good a time as any to get them at discounted odds, too – Herbert and squad are on bye this week.

Playoff Doubtfuls

RankTeamRecordSuper Bowl Odds
16Seattle Seahawks2-4+10000
17Las Vegas Raiders4-2+10000
18Pittsburgh Steelers3-3+10000
19Cincinnati Bengals4-2+10000
20Denver Broncos3-3+8000
21Carolina Panthers3-3+20000
22New England Patriots2-4+10000
23Philadelphia Eagles2-4+20000
24Chicago Bears3-3+20000
25Washington Football Team2-4+20000

The Broncos were one of the league’s largest beneficiaries based on their early-season schedule. Through three weeks, what appeared to be a safe but effective offense was seemingly buoyed by a top-5 defense to take wins over the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets in consecutive weeks. Since then, they’ve been out-scored 84-50, and it’s their defense that’s been a letdown in their two most recent losses. Injuries to their skill positions will prevent them from keeping up if their defense can’t get back to form. Though Jerry Jeudy will return in time, it’s hard to see Denver overcoming their three divisional rivals to crack a playoff spot. Their +200 odds trail the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders, who are listed at -550, -500, and +110, respectively.  

First Overall Pick Candidates

RankTeamRecordSuper Bowl Odds
26Atlanta Falcons2-3+25000
27Miami Dolphins1-5+20000
28New York Giants1-5+50000
29Jacksonville Jaguars1-5+100000
30Houston Texans1-5+100000
31New York Jets1-4+100000
32Detroit Lions0-6+100000

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Before the season, not many people would've been surprised if you told them the Lions would be the only winless team through six weeks of play. But it's the way it's transpired that is the shocking part. Detroit has lost three games by eight points or less, including a pair of ultra-competitive games against the Ravens and Vikings, but in more recent memory, they were battered by the Bengals to the tune of a 34-11 loss on their home turf. Coach Dan Campbell is to the point of telling Jared Goff to step up, though it's hard to fault a quarterback missing his all-pro center and throwing to names like Kalif Raymond, KhaDarel Hodge, and Amon-Ra St. Brown.  

Wrap all that up, and you have yourself the one and only team DraftKings Sportsbook lists winless odds for at +850. If that's not enough of an intriguing return, maybe you'd like to root for the Lions – say, Week 16 against the Falcons. Currently, the oddsmakers have Detroit at +2800 to seize their first win of the season on the road in Atlanta.


Brett Oswalt has been writing about sports for five years, has covered everything from the NBA to College Football DFS, and previously served as an editor at numberFire. He is a Senior Workforce Planning Analyst at Highmark by day, and an avid sports fan and girl-dad by night. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Marley, daughter, Aria, and goldendoodle, Braun.


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