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Home / NFL / NFL Power Rankings after Week 5

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Week 5 NFL action provided plenty of suspense, as the Steelers, Raiders and Bills found themselves back on track with huge wins. The Jets and Eagles continued to stumble into mediocrity, Cam Newton came up just short again, and the Patriots, Packers, Lions and Saints continued to impress. Here are the NFL Power Rankings following Week 5:


1. Green Bay Packers – The Falcons came out strong and held the lead till midway through the 3rd quarter Sunday night, after which Aaron Rodgers got it going. Rodgers looks unstoppable and the Packers defense had a much needed strong outing. This team is 5-0 and will end up with 13 or 14 wins. Undefeated isn’t completely out of the question.

2. New England Patriots – The Patriots continued their bounce-back after the loss to Buffalo with a statement win against Rex Ryan’s Jets. Even when played tough, Tom Brady and the Pats find ways to win, and I expect them to keep doing that for the remainder of the season.

3. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are fresh off two dominating wins before the bye this week. The defense has shown it can pick up the slack when Joe Flacco has a bad game, and Ray Rice is emerging as the best all-around back in the league.

4. Detroit Lions – The Lions are 5-0. Enough said. The offense is high octane in all facets, and they have shown they can come back when down as well as close out games when ahead. The Lions were #1 on my list of teams to watch this season. A few more wins and they can start getting ready for the playoffs.

5. New Orleans Saints – The Saints offense, behind Green Bay, may be the best in the league. Drew Brees consistently overcomes sub-par performances by the defensive unit that does just enough to win games. We’ll see if the defensive questions hamper this squad as the season progresses.

6. Buffalo Bills – The Bills continue to silence the non-BILLIEVERS. After everyone called the 4 int’s against the Patriots a lucky fluke, the Bills secondary has performed at the same level every game since, picking off Mike Vick 4 times Sunday. Fred Jackson is having a career year and Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing efficient football and limiting any serious mistakes. Don’t jump the gun yet, but this team is impressive thus far.

7. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers and Philip Rivers were able to hold off a late surge by the Broncos and Tim Tebow on the road to improve to 4-1 on the season. They are avoiding the slow start bug and will be challenged all year long by a Raiders team on the rise.

8. San Francisco 49ers – I am a believer in what Jim Harbaugh is doing in the city by the bay. Frank Gore is returning to form, Alex Smith is starting to play solid consistently, and that defense is swarming. The Buccaneers came to town Sunday after a big win last week looking to to go to 4-1, and the Niners weren’t having any of it in a 48-3 statement win.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers jumped right back into the AFC mix with a dominating win over a quality Titans squad. The offensive line, led by the return of Max Starks, let up only one sack as the Steelers racked up nearly 200 rushing yards and Ben Roethlisberger tossed 5 TD’s in a 38-17 win. They also limited Chris Johnson to 51 rush yards, 21 if which came on his first carry. It’s safe to say this team is back on track, especially with Arizona and Jacksonville on the horizon.

10. Washington Redskins – Who would have thought Gross Rexman’s division title prediction to be coming true? After choke acts by the Giants and Eagles Sunday, this team led by a vicious defense sits atop the NFC East. It remains to be seen if they can continue this early success, but right now they are the team to beat in that division.

11. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are impressive, and could conceivably be 4-1. Jason Campbell is doing enough to win, and they have speed all over the field with McFadden, Heyward-Bey, and Jacoby Ford. The defensive line is anchoring that unit that has a lot of youth and upside, and if they can perform every week like they did Sunday in Houston, the Raiders could very well be in the hunt for a division title and/or playoff birth.

12. Tennessee Titans – These guys took a step back in Pittsburgh Sunday, and left questions as to how good they really are. At 3-2 they are still a team in contention, but if their performances against other top teams later this season are similar to their performance Sunday, they could be sub-.500 before we know it. Chris Johnson needs to get it going, and soon.

13. Houston Texans – I wasn’t sold on the Texans before, and I am certainly not now with Andre Johnson out with an injury. Every year is the same nonsense: “is this the year the Texans get in to the playoffs?” Five games isn’t enough for me to gauge how good these guys are, and with their history of collapsing towards season’s end  they could be headed for trouble. The season-ending injury to Mario Williams only adds to the questions already looming for Houston.

14. Dallas Cowboys – This team could be and should be 4-0, until Tony Romo decided to give games away with his dim-witted throws. Based on potential, I’d say these guys are a playoff team. Romo gets his act together and stops turning the ball over, the Cowboys can make a run for the NFC East because the Giants and Eagles are big question marks at this stage.

15. New York Giants – Wow. After praising Eli Manning with a B+ quarterback grade last week, he rewards us all by turning into the screw-up we all know and love against the Seahawks. Sure Victor Cruz should have caught the pick-six that cemented the W for Seattle, but Manning also threw 2 other INT’s and Marshawn Lynch averaged 8 yards a carry. I’m not sure where this team is at right now, they are Jekyll and Hyde to a T.

16. Cincinnati Bengals – Rookies Andy Dalton and AJ Green seem to be forming quite the chemistry in Cincy, and their defense is as good as it gets. This team will need the defense to stay healthy and at this level of play the rest of the season.  If the Bengals can snag a couple more W’s in upcoming winnable games (Colts, Seahawks, Titans), they will find themselves at 6-2. This team is capable, I just need to see a little more from them before they get near the top ten.

17. New York Jets – Aah, I am relieved to finally rank these guys where they belong. Without extreme amounts of luck on their side, we are all seeing the real Jets. Sanchez is nothing but a game-manager, this team is average, and apparently they can’t hang with the top-tier teams this season. The only elite skill players they have are Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis.  But if fiery words and Super Bowl predictions by Rex Ryan counted as wins, they’d be 5-0.

18. Chicago Bears – Inconsistency is the name of the game here, and the Bears now find themselves at 2-3 staring up at the undefeated Lions and Packers in the division. I had high hopes for this club, but they have a lot of work to do now to even compete for a Wild Card.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – At 3-2, people may ask why these guys are so low. I’ll tell you why. They just lost 48-3, had to come from behind to beat the Colts last week (with Painter starting his first ever NFL game), and they are just a general question mark. Not knocking San Fran here, but if they are getting owned like that by Niners, I don’t see Tampa competing with the Saints, Packers, Lions, Patriots, Ravens, or any other top-tier teams. They need a statement game for me to gauge how good they really are.

20. Cleveland Browns – These guys are a quiet 2-2 in a seemingly very competitive AFC North. Not a bad start, if they can manufacture a few more wins as the season goes on, they may turn some heads. Still too early to know how for real the Browns are, but it sure beats 0-4 or 1-3 after starting the year with a loss.

21. Atlanta Falcons – I’m not sure if the pressure to perform after last season is getting to this group. They don’t look like the same team, and Matt Ryan seems to not have any of that late game magic we saw last year. Plenty of questions for a team that was mentioned as a Super Bowl contender.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – At 1-4, the Eagles aren’t in the cellar yet based off potential alone. If any team had the weapons to turn around a 1-4 season, it’s these guys. I am predicting right now the Eagles get back to 4-4 and still make a run for the NFC East. Anything less would be unacceptable and cause a crisis in Philly.

23. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks seem to be coming together under the radar here. After a two point loss to Atlanta last week, the Seahawks beat a Giants team Sunday that looked primed to make a run in the NFC. Still not sold on this squad, but they have to be happy thus far at 2-3 with Tarvaris Jackson calling the shots.

24. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have rattled off two straight wins, which was nearly three as they lost a nail-biter to the Chargers in Week 3. Matt Cassel seems to be settling in, and this team looks downright ready to make a statement after getting blown-out the first two weeks. Unfortunately for them, the AFC is too strong and even a strong finish won’t get them into the post-season.

25. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have held leads in almost all their games this season, and it looks like the frustration of blowing those games erupted on a hapless Arizona team on Sunday. It’s amazing what happens when Adrian Peterson touches the rock a good percent of the time. Their success from here on lies on #28.

26. Carolina Panthers – I personally think this team is very capable. Every loss so far this season has been by 7 or less after 12 double-digit losses last season. If the defense can get things figured out, the Panthers could go on a little winning streak. Cam Newton has them more than competitive in every game, they just need to figure out how to win those close ones.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags made the right move inserting Blaine Gabbert as the starter. He will gain much needed experience and set these guys up for another crack at it next season. Maurice Jones-Drew can’t do it all by himself and the defense isn’t all that impressive. Eventually they will turn it around, just not this season.

28. Denver Broncos – It may be Tim Tebow time from here on out. The kid almost brought this squad back to a win over the Chargers Sunday, and he may be the spark this team and city needs to get out of the rut they are stuck in. Orton has 7 picks already this season, so I expect Tebow to start and turn some heads doing it as the season forges ahead.

29. Arizona Cardinals – Maybe Kevin Kolb isn’t the answer, at least not yet. After blowing a game to the Giants last week, the Vikings thoroughly manhandled these guys Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald might possibly be the most frustrated athlete in the pro sports world.

30. St. Louis Rams – Disappointing. Winless. They have the most upside of all the winless to finally get one, but they better figure out what’s going on, especially with Sammy Bradford apparently in a “sophomore slump.”

31. Miami Dolphins – They’re lousy. With Henne out, they’re more lousy. Good luck, Matt Moore. Throw to Brandon Marshall every play and maybe this team could get 2 or 3 wins. Probably not though.

32. Indianapolis Colts – Just as expected, this team is terrible minus Peyton. Curtis Painter played alright Sunday, and Kansas City still stormed back from a 21 point deficit to beat them at home. It can’t get any worse than it is I guess, so hopefully they notch a few W’s to avoid complete humiliation.




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