Through seven weeks of the NFL season, there are just eleven teams that have a winning record. Of those eleven, seven are more than one game above an even record. What does this say about the current state of the league? Does it imply that parity is running rampant? Perhaps it means that there are no truly great teams left at all. One thing that is known around the league is that the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers are not good this year. How do we know this? Combined, those teams have four wins. Simply put, the Atlanta Falcons are better, on paper, than all four of those teams combined. What did we learn from Week 7 in and of itself? The Houston Texans are nowhere close to the team that sleepwalked through their Sunday Night game against the Green Bay Packers. The Chicago Bears defense is as good as it has ever been, and may be the best defense we have seen this decade (Sorry 49ers fans). The Baltimore Ravens have a lot of work to do offensively, (ahem, Joe Flacco) but the return of Terrell Suggs may provide the spark the defense needs after losing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. Finally, we learned, well, remembered, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers "creamsicle" jerseys are still as beautiful as they have ever been. Now, without any more hesitation, let's take a look at this week's MVP power rankings.
#5. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (Last Week:Unranked) (2,097 passing yards, 19 total TD, 7 INT, 96.1 QB Rating) - Brees put himself into this race after throwing for 377 yards and four touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The incredible part is that Brees had 313 yards by halftime. He also extended his record streak of consecutive games with a passing touchdown to 49. Brees has brought the Saints out of an 0-4 hole, and has them on a two game winning streak.
#4. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins (LW: 4) (2,069 total yards, 13 total TD, 5 turnovers, 101.8 QB Rating) - Someone needs to tell RGIII that he's a rookie, and that it isn't supposed to look this easy. Griffin led the Redskins down the field on another 4th quarter drive to give his team the lead, against the defending Super Bowl champions no less. Albeit, the Giants eventually won the game, but the play that RGIII made on 4th down to keep the game alive is going to go down as one of the best of the season. He has a rather tough test coming this week, however, as the Redskins travel to Pittsburgh. It will be interesting to see how the Heisman winner fares in his first interconference road game.
#3. J.J. Watt/Arian Foster, DE/RB, Houston Texans (LW: 3) (9.5 sacks, 10 passes deflected/736 total yards, 10 TD, 0 fumbles) - Watt finally had his first game without a sack this season, but was influential in a defensive touchdown. "J.J. Swatt", as he has affectionately become known as in Houston, deflected a ball from Joe Flacco that was intercepted by Jonathan Joseph, and ran back for a touchdown, sparking the blowout that ensued. Foster, meanwhile, continues his hot start, having scored a touchdown in every game this season. This past game was also the third time Foster has had multiple touchdowns in a game this year.
#2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (LW: 2) (2,104 total yards, 19 TD, 4 INT) - There was talk at the beginning of the season, after the Packers started out 1-2, that Rodgers and the Green Bay offense wasn't the powerhouse that we've all gotten used to seeing. 16 touchdowns and a 3-1 record since that epic ending in Seattle, and it seems like all those questions have dissipated. Rodgers is back to his "normal" self, and the Packers are 1 game in the win column back of the Chicago Bears.
#1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (LW: 1) (1,823 total yards, 15 total TD, 7 turnovers, 98.8 QB Rating) - Ryan was the top choice last week, and, much like the popular belief, will not lose his spot due to not playing this week, since the Falcons were on a bye. Ryan has a test this week however, traveling to Philadelphia, just about a half hour drive away from where he played high school ball. If Ryan can continue his undefeated ways against an Eagles defense that is fresh off of the firing of their defensive coordinator, he will undoubtedly stay at the top of this list. A loss, however, could shake things up in a flash.