NFL Power Rankings: 2008 Week 7 edition

Updated: October 19, 2008, 11:12 AM ET
ESPN.com
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For the fourth time this season, there's a different team atop ESPN.com's NFL power rankings. Entering Week 7, the undefeated Tennessee Titans rule the roost. The Titans are the NFL's last unbeaten team thanks to the Cleveland Browns running roughshod on the New York Giants 35-14 on the latest edition of ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

The Titans (5-0) could extend their reign two weeks if form follows fashion and they beat the host Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. But the Giants probably thought they had smooth sailing Monday visiting another one-win team, and look what happened to them.

The Giants, 4-1 after having their 12-game road winning streak (counting the Super Bowl) snapped, fell to second in the weekly poll of our experts. The next two teams in our poll, the 4-1 Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills at third and fourth, respectively, are coming off byes. The Steelers could have their mettle tested visiting the Cincinnati Bengals who, though winless, have suffered two tough road losses to NFC East powerhouses.

The Washington Redskins (4-2) are a respectable No. 5 in our poll, down only two spots despite losing a home game to the previously winless St. Louis Rams 19-17. With the victory for new coach Jim Haslett, the Rams vaulted out of the power rankings' cellar to No. 28 overall.

Week 7 promises an intriguing matchup when the mercurial San Diego Chargers, No. 11 this week, visit the No. 4 Bills. The Chargers are fresh off a 30-10 thumping of the visiting New England Patriots, who dropped eight spots in our poll to No. 17 overall.

The Patriots could redeem themselves in the next edition of "MNF" when the Denver Broncos visit (8:30 ET, ESPN). The 4-2 Broncos still lead the AFC West despite losing at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-17.

Even though they fell eight places, the Patriots are not the biggest tumblers this week. The cardiac Chicago Bears fell 10 places to No. 20 overall after their shocking 22-20 last-second road loss to the upstart Atlanta Falcons. Like the Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens fell eight rungs (to No. 23 overall) after the host Indianapolis Colts' 31-3 demolition job.

We've called upon some of our voting members to provide team-by-team commentary. Thus, for your reading pleasure, you'll have:

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
The rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff: writers John Clayton, Jeffri Chadiha, Tim Graham, Matt Mosley, James Walker, Kevin Seifert, Paul Kuharsky, Pat Yasinskas, Bill Williamson and Mike Sando; and Scouts Inc. Insiders Jeremy Green and Matt Williamson.

How we voted

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• Tim Graham on the AFC East
• James Walker on the AFC North
• Paul Kuharsky on the AFC South
• Bill Williamson on the AFC West

• Matt Mosley on the NFC East
• Kevin Seifert on the NFC North
• Pat Yasinskas on the NFC South
• Mike Sando on the NFC West

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 27-3 steamrolling of the Carolina Panthers earned coach Jon Gruden's team a six-spot elevation in the poll to No. 7 overall. The Falcons (from No. 20 to No. 15), the Chargers (from No. 16 to No. 11) and the No. 9 Arizona Cardinals -- who scored a 30-24 overtime home victory against the Dallas Cowboys -- each moved up five spots.

Among the rankings' quirks: The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions and fell two places to No. 21 overall. Apparently our experts were as unimpressed with the Vikings' 12-10 triumph as the Metrodome fans who were chanting "Fire Childress" even as coach Brad Childress was fashioning the team's second consecutive victory.

And the 0-5 Lions took one step back to the power rankings' basement at No. 32 overall -- a retreat that might be a tribute to quarterback Dan Orlovsky 's absent-minded steps out of the back of the end zone for a safety in his team's two-point loss.

(Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking last week.)

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