Updated: October 14, 2014, 2:53 PM ET
2014 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7
Last week in this space, we sang the praises of the resurgent NFC East. Right on cue, the surprising Cowboys went out and knocked off Seattle on the road.
Does that mean Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray & Co. are now No. 1? No, but they're getting closer. Dallas continued its impressive season-long rise, jumping from No. 6 to No. 3. ESPN's Power Panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) put the Broncos on top, followed by the surging Chargers. The Seahawks dropped to No. 5.
Expect the NFC East to remain in the spotlight this week, as the Cowboys and Giants face off Sunday afternoon. Although the Giants (No. 20) lost some luster -- and some key players -- in a lopsided loss at Philadelphia, they would love nothing more than to end Dallas' hot streak.
For the Cowboys, a sixth straight win could pave the way for even more gains in our hierarchy. With Denver facing the formidable 49ers (No. 7) Sunday night, it's not outrageous to think another shake-up awaits.
Note: The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.
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|It was harder than the score looked, but the Broncos won behind another big day from the Thomases. Demaryius topped 100 yards receiving again, and Julius caught a pair of touchdowns.|
|San Diego's 5-1 start is the team's best since 2002. Philip Rivers was 8-of-10 against the blitz Sunday, his highest completion percentage in the past five seasons (min. 10 attempts).|
|DeMarco Murray is the second player in NFL history to begin a season with six straight games of at least 100 rushing yards. His offensive line has been awesome this season.|
|Now that's how you enter a bye week. Philly shut out the Giants for the first time since 1996, with LeSean McCoy rushing for a season-high 149 yards.|
|Russell Wilson lost for only the second time at home and had his second career game completing no more than half his passes without a touchdown. Back-to-back road games are next.|
|Larry Fitzgerald had six catches for a season-high 98 yards Sunday, and the Cardinals had a season-high 30 points. Arizona, not Seattle or San Francisco, sits atop the NFC West.|
|Monday had the Niners' second pass play of at least 80 yards since 2001, both caught by Brandon Lloyd. The other was from Tim Rattay in 2005.|
|T.Y. Hilton had a career-high 223 receiving yards Thursday, the second most for a player in any game this season. Andrew Luck completed all nine of his passes targeting Hilton.|
|Only Dan Marino (217) had more passing touchdowns in his first 100 games than Aaron Rodgers (203). Rodgers has 15 passing touchdowns and one interception this season. He's pretty good.|
|Tom Brady has the best winning percentage (.920) against the Bills of any quarterback against any opponent since the merger. The Pats host the Jets next (Thursday night).|
|The Bengals and Panthers scored a combined 74 points in Sunday's tie, the most in a tie since 1964 and most in the overtime era (since 1974).|
|Baltimore's 48 points Sunday were the most in a road game in franchise history. Joe Flacco's 99.7 Total QBR was the second best in Stats & Info's data set (since 2006).|
|Detroit won, but what is going on with Lions kickers? They have missed 10 field goals through six weeks, more than any team missed last year over a full season.|
|Sunday was the first tie in franchise history. It doesn't get easier for the Panthers, who face the Packers, Seahawks, Saints and Eagles without a bye next.|
|Cleveland has outscored Pittsburgh 55-13 in six quarters since halftime of Week 1. The Browns are 3-2 with games against the Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers next.|
|Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall had at least 100 receiving yards in the same game for the first time Sunday. Jay Cutler threw for 381 yards despite targeting only five players.|
|This isn't a fun stretch for the Saints. Their next nine opponents are at or above .500 before finishing the season against the Falcons and in Tampa Bay.|
|Alex Smith isn't getting much help in the passing game. The Chiefs have dropped 7.0 percent of pass attempts, second highest in the league.|
|J.J. Watt has three touchdowns this season, more than Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Vincent Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Keenan Allen, Andre Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Le'Veon Bell and Reggie Bush.|
|The 27-0 loss was the third-largest shutout in Eagles-Giants history and the most lopsided shutout in the rivalry since 1948. New York allowed eight sacks, its most since 2008.|
|Revis Island was a lonely place. Sammy Watkins had career lows in catches (two) and targets (three) Sunday, but the Vikings' defense should be good for a bounce-back performance.|
|Antonio Brown now has 22 straight games with at least five receptions and 50 yards, the longest streak in NFL history. There wasn't much else to be excited about Sunday.|
|Miami turned the ball over three times Sunday, its third game this season with at least three turnovers. No team in the league has more three-turnover games.|
|Atlanta has lost three straight games by at least 10 points. With a trip to Baltimore up next, coach Mike Smith could be starting to feel some pressure.|
|Charlie Whitehurst had a 39.4 Total QBR on Sunday, second lowest by a winning quarterback in Week 6. It also doubled his career QBR as a starter (18.2 entering Sunday).|
|The Rams were outscored 31-3 after the first quarter Monday. Austin Davis was 14-of-34 with an interception in that span, averaging a paltry 3.9 yards per attempt.|
|Teddy Bridgewater was sacked eight times, the second most in a game this season (Chad Henne 10 in Week 2). Buffalo's pass rush (sixth in sack percentage) won't be easier.|
|Kirk Cousins converted two of 10 third-down passes for first downs Sunday. He made his receivers do the work, as Cousins threw only three of those attempts at or beyond the first-down marker.|
|The Jets' five-game losing streak is the team's longest since 2007. They won't have to wait long for another chance to snap it, traveling to Foxborough on Thursday night.|
|Talk about a slow start. Elias confirms Tampa Bay's 38-0 halftime deficit Sunday was the largest by a home team in NFL history. The Bucs have lost four straight at home.|
|Oakland has lost 11 straight games, the second-longest streak in franchise history. At least Derek Carr joined Carson Palmer as the only Raiders quarterbacks in 10 years with a four-TD game.|
|We are not witnessing the glory days of the Jaguars franchise. Jacksonville's 0-6 start is the second worst in team history, behind last year's 0-8 start.|