Texans, 49ers, Steelers Do Work — NFL Week 7 Rankings & Projections (2019)

J.J. Watt Houston Texans

J.J. Watt and the Texans are in good position in the AFC. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)

In this post we highlight our biggest rankings and predictions changes, after a week that featured big wins by Houston, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh.

NFL Week 7 Rankings Updates

Here are the biggest increases in team predictive rating heading into Week 7. Our predictive ratings are measured in points, with a 0.0 rating equivalent to a “perfectly average” team on a neutral field:

TeamDivisionResultOld RankNew RankOld RatingNew RatingRating Change
San FranciscoNFC WestW at LA Rams 20-7326.38.01.7
PittsburghAFC NorthW at LA Chargers 24-172116-0.40.81.2
DenverAFC WestW vs. Tennessee 16-02422-1.6-0.41.2
HoustonAFC SouthW at Kansas City 31-24753.14.21.0
MinnesotaNFC NorthW vs. Philadelphia 38-20434.65.61.0

For the second straight week, the 49ers are our biggest predictive ratings points gainer. They made relatively easy work of the division rival Rams on the road, and at 5-0 are the clear frontrunners in the NFC.

Few people gave Pittsburgh a chance to beat the Chargers while starting third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges, but they jumped out to a big lead behind dominant defensive and special teams performances, and held off a late Philip Rivers rally attempt. Their brutal early schedule should also be noted, as the Steelers have lost to No. 1 New England, No. 2 San Francisco, No. 11 Baltimore, and No. 13 Seattle.

Denver turned in a dominant defensive performance against the Titans, pitching a shutout in their 16-0 victory. They’ve now won back-to-back games but will get a much tougher test on a short week vs. Kansas City on Thursday.

See where every team currently stands in our NFL rankings.

NFL Week 7 Projected Wins Updates

Here are the top gainers in projected total wins for the 2019 season heading into Week 7:

TeamDivisionResultOld Proj WinsNew Proj WinsProj Wins Change
HoustonAFC SouthW at Kansas City 31-248.89.91.1
PittsburghAFC NorthW at LA Chargers 24-177.08.01.0
San FranciscoNFC WestW at LA Rams 20-712.013.00.9
DenverAFC WestW vs. Tennessee 16-05.66.40.9
MinnesotaNFC NorthW vs. Philadelphia 38-209.610.30.7

Houston picked up a huge win on the road at Kansas City, making it back-to-back home losses vs. AFC South opponents for the Chiefs. The Texans have scored 84 points over the last two weeks after losing 16-10 to Carolina in Week 4.

Steelers fans should probably be satisfied with an 8-8 finish, considering Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury in Week 2, along with second-string quarterback Mason Rudolph’s recent concussion. It’s not out of the question that could be enough to get a wildcard spot in a very mediocre AFC, because that win projection puts them 7th in the conference, just 0.5 wins behind the Colts.

See our latest projected season win totals for all teams on our NFL projections.

NFL Week 7 Division Winner Odds Updates

The following teams increased their odds to win their division the most last week:

TeamDivisionResultOld Div Win OddsNew Div Win OddsDiv Win Odds Change
HoustonAFC SouthW at Kansas City 31-2435.8%59.4%23.6%
San FranciscoNFC WestW at LA Rams 20-767.3%82.5%15.2%
PittsburghAFC NorthW at LA Chargers 24-1713.3%24.0%10.7%
MinnesotaNFC NorthW vs. Philadelphia 38-2022.9%31.1%8.2%
New OrleansNFC SouthW at Jacksonville 13-651.7%59.1%7.4%

The AFC South remains up in the air, but Houston did a lot to help their odds with a big and unexpected win at KC. The Texans have no time to rest, however, with a huge matchup vs. the Colts this week. Indy has the second best odds to win the division at 24%.

Only the Patriots (95%) currently have stronger odds to win their division than the 49ers. Of course, San Francisco still has the 5-1 Seahawks breathing down their neck, but San Francisco has a significant advantage with the 23rd toughest remaining schedule compared to Seattle’s 2nd toughest remaining schedule.

See our latest division winner odds for all teams on our NFL projections.

NFL Week 7 Playoffs Odds Updates

The following teams increased their odds to make the playoffs the most last week:

TeamDivisionResultOld Playoffs OddsNew Playoffs OddsPlayoffs Odds Change
HoustonAFC SouthW at Kansas City 31-2451.6%74.2%22.7%
PittsburghAFC NorthW at LA Chargers 24-1721.7%38.7%17.0%
MinnesotaNFC NorthW vs. Philadelphia 38-2048.6%61.6%12.9%
New OrleansNFC SouthW at Jacksonville 13-661.5%71.0%9.5%
CarolinaNFC SouthW vs. Tampa Bay 37-26 (N)41.7%50.8%9.1%

After making multiple win-now trades in the preseason, Houston’s chances of making the playoffs suddenly look strong. Head coach Bill O’Brien has made the playoffs in three of his previous five seasons coaching the team.

Pittsburgh’s odds of making the playoffs are reasonable at nearly 39%, including a 24% chance to win the AFC North. The Steelers are currently two games behind the 4-2 Ravens.

New Orleans is in a good place at 5-1, winning four straight games without Drew Brees. Brees is getting closer to returning, which could help the team’s prospects even more.

See our latest odds to make the playoffs for all teams on our NFL projections.

Until Next Week…

Enjoy NFL Week 7, and if you’re in an NFL pool or planning on betting some of the Week 7 games, please check out our NFL Survivor PicksFootball Pick’em Pool Picks, and NFL Betting Picks.