Each week, SiriusXM NFL Radio’s hosts vote on the top six teams in both the NFC and AFC. This week’s voters include James Lofton, Bruce Murray, Alex Marvez, Bill Polian, Maurice Jones-Drew, Gil Brandt, Jim Miller, Pat Kirwan, other NFL Radio hosts, Brian Lauvray, Bobby Bonett, and you, the fans! (To participate in the fan vote, visit siriusxm.com/power12poll.)

All channel listings subject to change.


NFC

1. Green Bay Packers (6-0)

Week 7 opponent: BYE

Another week and another win, but the Packers leaky secondary has to be a concern. Packers were scorched for 500-plus yards through the air by a very one-dimensional San Diego offense, and have been alternating between “Help!” and brilliant all season. Still, GB enters the bye week with one of the most efficient offenses in the league and are in the catbird seat, yet again, of the NFC North.

 

2. Carolina Panthers (5-0)

Week 7 opponent: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 804)

Welp. Now the Panthers should be considered at least somewhat legit. (Or maybe the Seahawks are just done?) After opening the season with an extremely soft schedule, Carolina came back against the defending NFC champs in the fourth quarter to win – on the road no less. Cam Newton played on a different level in leading the offense on four separate 80-yard drives against the heretofore mighty Seattle secondary. Carolina now heads home to Charlotte and faces an improving (and NFC East-leading) Philadelphia team in a “prove it” game for both sides.

 

3. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

Week 7 opponent: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Monday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 800)

Although the loss to Pittsburgh was a little surprising, it was more the fashion in which the Cardinals lost that was the real surprise. A somewhat pedestrian Steelers defense held that offense to 13 points? We’ll call it a mulligan. Desert Birds still are atop NFC West and should right the ship against a lost Ravens’ team that’s dead last in passing defense, and is traveling across the country for second week in a row.

 

4. Atlanta Falcons (5-1)

Week 7 opponent: at Tennessee Titans, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 231, Sirius channel 132, Internet channel 801)

After weeks of too-close wins, the Falcons finally wound up out of luck and with a loss at the hands of New Orleans. The divisional loss hurts in the standings with Carolina still undefeated, but the Falcons have the Tennessee Titans who will very likely be without Marcus Mariota, thus rendering them relatively toothless offensively. Dirty Birds should bounce back nicely this week is what I’m trying to say.

 

5 (tie). Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)

Week 7 opponent: at Carolina Panthers, Sunday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 83, Internet channel 823)

Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles who, by winning a game neither themselves or the New York Giants appeared to want to win, are this week’s “Dictator For Life of the NFC East Banana Republic.” In the very tepid Monday Nighter, it was refreshing at least to see that DeMarco Murray is still alive. If the Cowboys, upon Dez and Tony Romo’s respective returns, somehow win the NFC East crown, do Philly and the Giants get relegated to the college ranks?

 

5 (tie). Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

Week 7 opponent: at Detroit Lions, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 229, Sirius channel 135, Internet channel 817)

In Week 6, the Rams had the bye and the Vikings took on a skeleton crew from Kansas City, ergo the Vikings are in the Power 12 and the Rams are knocking on the door. If the Vikes lose this week and St Louis takes out the Browns, anticipate some correction next week.

 

NFC fantasy football spotlight: Marshawn Lynch (RB, Seattle) 

2015 stats: 182 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3.3 yards per carry, 10 receptions, 61 receiving yards

In his second full week back from injury, Marshawn Lynch faces a very generous San Francisco defense that should be far more accommodating than the stifling Carolina defense he saw last week. Lynch, who famously was fined for a touchdown celebration last season against the Niners, will look to carry the offensive load for a Seahawks team in desperate need of a win and a spark.

 

AFC

1. New England Patriots (5-0)

Week 7 opponent: vs. New York Jets, Sunday 1 pm ET (SiriusXM channel 82, Internet channel 818)

Every week it’s the same song for New England: Another One Bites the Dust. Still, the New York Jets bring the most complete and dominant defense to the table this week, and New England could find the sledding tougher. That being said, it’ll be up to the Jets offense to score enough points to actually get the win. I still like New England because Tom Brady is their quarterback and not Ryan Fitzpatrick.

 

2. Cincinnati Bengals (6-0)

Week 7 opponent: BYE

At their bye week, the Bengals are encouraged to watch the Back to the Future trilogy in honor of Back to the Future Day occurring this week. Other than that, sleep late, heal up and be ready for the road trip to Pittsburgh on November 1.

 

3. Denver Broncos (6-0)

Week 7 opponent: BYE

Thanks in large part to Herculean efforts from their very good defense on a weekly basis, Denver remains undefeated. Just like Cincinnati, the Broncos also have the bye this week. In lieu of watching Back to the Future, Denver’s coaching staff is encouraged to develop a time-traveling DeLorean and travel back in time to the distant year of 2007, and to bring that Peyton Manning back to the present.

 

4. New York Jets (4-1)

Week 7 opponent: at New England Patriots, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 82, Sirius channel 133, Internet channel 821)

I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t have much faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick so far this season. However, if the Jets can somehow get Chris Ivory going against New England’s not-so-imposing run defense, New York could have a shot at pulling off what would be a shocking upset given that the game is in Foxboro and that New England has played this well. Belichick likely has a few tricks up his sleeve to counter any designs of ball control by New York; but this game should provide a captivating chess match between team strengths (Pats offense against Jets defense) and team weaknesses (Pats defense versus New York’s “kitten in a paper bag” offense). New England readily buries teams under an avalanche of points and forces them to pass to catch up; if the Jets avoid – or, at the least, minimize – the points blizzard, they should have a chance.

 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

Week 7 opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 227, Sirius channel 127, Internet channel 824)

After facing some major uncertainty and hardship with Ben Roethlisberger’s injury, the Steelers are now nearly out of the injury woods. Facing a depleted Chiefs team that’s down its star offensive player thanks to injury -We miss you, Jamaal Charles! – Pittsburgh’s offense is once again close to being its Voltron self. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Roethlisberger should be a fearsome force upon Big Ben’s return. Now, to just beat Kansas City without him …

 

5. Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Week 7 opponent: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 813)

The Colts find themselves, at 3-3, atop the AFC South, as much because of how terrible the rest of their division is as anything else. A healthy Andrew Luck and a home game against a porous New Orleans team should push that record to 4-3, but Indianapolis does not look good right now. If you’re more comfortable with slotting the Miami Dolphins (or your favorite team!) please do so, dear reader.

 

AFC fantasy football spotlight: DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Houston)

2015 stats: 90 targets, 52 receptions, 726 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns

Hopkins already has 726 receiving yards on the season, nearly a full 100 more yards than the next closest receiver (Julio Jones). ‘Nuk, in spite of the garbage fire that is Houston’s quarterback situation, is catching everything coming his way. Miami’s shaky secondary will be powerless against the mighty one this week.

 

Week 7 tracker

 


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